Take a look at “LGBTQ for Adults” for my 5 Sparkler review of “BACK IN BLACK” by Rhys Ford. A fun story from a really good author.
Check out the “Holidays” page for two new reviews for Valentine’s Day.
A PLACE TO HANG HER HEART by Liz Flaherty and A TALE OF TWO RINGS by Beth Carpenter are both sweet, romantic novellas all ready for your Valentine’s Day reading.
Two new reviews just posted.
Under “Mysteries”, look for “Death Bee Comes Her” a new cozy mystery from Nancy Coco. Set on the Oregon coast at Halloween, it’s perfect for a spooky read.
Under “Non-fiction”, take a look at “The Complete Guide to Astrology” by Louise Edington. An interesting text-book on how to chart your course in life.
When I came up with the idea of Let Me Live, I knew it was going to be Marshall’s story. He had made such an impression on me in Rage to Life, the first book in the Finding the Strength series that I wanted him to shine. Marshall is unique because not only is he a proud gay man who’s well-liked and an excellent swimmer, but he wants to become something big, such as the first gay president of the United States. But the events of Let Me Live, which involves a school shooting at his college by his friend makes him rethink his dreams. Because he has experienced such a trauma, he doesn’t think he’s worthy of becoming something larger than life like he used to believe. He’s now a former shell of himself and has to rethink his future. What he doesn’t know is that his future has changed in ways he could have never imagined because someone new enters his life who can help Marshall heal.
There are many topics in Let Me Live. One such topic is the opposites attract trope. That involves Benny, the somewhat older, bearded tattoo artist whose personality is incredibly sexy (so says me 😉). He’s a very insightful individual who recognizes Marshall and his attraction to him. But Benny is left in the dark on why Marshall suffers. Instead of Benny investigating Marshal by talking to Marshall’s friends or going as far to research Marshall on the internet or in news publications, he gets to know Marshall the person. Marshall is a clean slate to Benny, and that is where Benny’s initial physical attraction for Marshall becomes much more. Unlike many people, Benny doesn’t judge Marshall.
Marshall and Benny are a couple who complete each other even though they have very different childhoods and lifestyles. Watching their friendship and then romance unfold is a great way to grab readers’ interest. But as Marshall and Benny learn about one another, and why they are a perfect pair, there are deeper emotions and reactions at play, especially when the reader finds out why Marshall has such guilt over the school shooting he was a victim of. He’s also a survivor but one who has to face the truth of his actions. In order to do that he has to rely on Benny who wants to be that person Marshall can turn to in all things, both good and bad.
Like the series name- Finding the Strength, Let Me Live is all about Marshall finding the strength to forgive himself and embrace love with Benny.
P.S.- Oh, and the mention about Marshall wanting to become the first gay president of the United States? I think readers will be in for a big surprise when they read the epilogue 😉
Shirley Anne Edwards is a Northeast girl who discovered her love for books when she read Nancy Drew’s The Secret of the Old Clock Tower at thirteen. Shirley found her love for writing at a very young age and, since then, has let her imagination run wild by creating quirky characters and vast worlds in her head. Shirley is also a brownie addict who loves to bake when she’s not busy writing. Shirley lives in New Jersey and works in the entertainment industry in New York City.
You can contact Shirley at email@example.com and find her at these other places:
Check out my new reviews, both under “Romance”
THIS DAY IS OURS by Gretchen Jeannette – an epic historical romance set in 1776 Philadelphia area with realistic characters and settings. Full of action, battles, romance, intrigue, and more. If you like historical fiction, you’ll love this.
LOVE LETTERING by Kate Clayborn – everything about hand lettering you ever wanted to know with a little romance, fun, and a touch of intrigue thrown in.
Hi! Kim Fielding here to celebrate the release of Love Has No Direction, my 26th novel!
Protagonists of romance novels are flashy, right? They have to be, because for the story to work, readers need to fall in love with them. Need to care about them so much that it’s vital for obstacles to be overcome and True Love to find a way. We may remember these protagonists long after we’ve finished a book and might even miss them—we might hope their creators share more of their story with us.
The leads get star billing in romance novels, which is as it should be. But what about the secondary characters? They’re important too. Unless the entire story takes place while the heroes are isolated from the rest of the world, secondaries are what make the tale work. They’re the friends and family, the exes, the bosses, the villains. Maybe they have such a small part they don’t even get names, or maybe they’re fully fleshed characters in their own right.
I have a special love for secondaries. They serve important narrative purposes and assist with the protagonists’ character development. But they’re also just plain fun—a chance for the author to play with someone new and interesting. Some examples of what I mean? Miracle Max and Valerie in The Princess Bride. Mr. Potter in It’s a Wonderful Life. Batty in Bladerunner. Timon and Pumbaa in The Lion King.
When I write, many of my secondaries feel as real to me as the protagonists. You probably won’t learn all that much about them since it’s not their story, but rest assured: in the universe of my mind, their histories and personalities are as fully fleshed as the heroes’.
A really fun thing about writing a series is that it allows me to revisit those secondary characters—and to give them some little adventures of their own. In the Love Can’t series, Rhoda Levin shows up periodically as the owner of P-Town Café, where the protagonists tend to hang out. She’s a friend to them and an encouraging voice. In the newest book, we learn a bit more about her backstory—and get some hopeful hints about her future.
Of course sometimes a secondary character in one book can become a protagonist in another. Nevin Ng was a secondary in the first book of the series but starred in book two; he’s back in a supporting role in book three. On the other hand, Parker Levin (Rhoda’s son) got only some brief mentions in the first two books, but now it’s his turn to shine.
Who are some of your favorite secondary characters in books or movies?
A Love Can’t Novel
Yet another series of poor decisions lands Parker Levin back in his mother’s house, working at her coffee shop, and feeling like a failure. Then he learns his ex-boyfriend has died by suicide and things go from bad to worse. When he meets a handsome stranger, he doesn’t have much left to lose.
Ten years ago Wesley Anker made a grave mistake. Since then he’s lived in near isolation, supporting himself by making custom furniture and only rarely connecting with other people. When he attempts to make amends, he encounters Parker, a beautiful and colorful young man, and he agrees to Parker’s impulsive request to join him.
Together, Parker and Wes find quick friendship and fierce attraction. But Wes’s past demons haunt his footsteps, and Parker’s struggle to plan a future has him stumbling through life. Then they uncover evidence that suggests Parker’s ex’s death might not have been a straightforward suicide, and every path seems to lead to dead ends and destruction. Can Parker and Wes find their way to lasting love when the route is hidden?
Kim Fielding is the bestselling, award-winning author of numerous m/m romance novels, novellas, and short stories. Like Kim herself, her work is eclectic, spanning genres such as contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, and historical. Her stories are set in alternate worlds, in 15th century Bosnia, in modern-day Oregon. Her heroes are hipster architect werewolves, housekeepers, maimed giants, and conflicted graduate students. They’re usually flawed, they often encounter terrible obstacles, but they always find love.
Having migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States, Kim calls California home. She lives there with her family and her day job as a university professor, but escapes as often as possible via car, train, plane, or boat. This may explain why her characters often seem to be in transit as well. She dreams of traveling and writing full-time.
A Carlisle Deputies Novel
Undercover sheriff’s deputy Evan Whittaker is close to infiltrating a vicious local gang. He just needs to find an opening. Instead, he finds Wes Douglas, a web designer who is raising his irresponsible brother’s son. Wes agrees to help with a stakeout, but he pays the price when his home is destroyed in a shootout.
Evan’s always been a loner, but when he invites Wes into his home, living together feels right, and the two men only grow closer as they adapt to each other’s lives and rhythms. A future as a family looks brighter by the day, but all of that could collapse when Wes’s brother—and his connection to the drug dealers—crashes into the life they’re carefully building.
“Blocking a public sidewalk, causing an obstruction. You most certainly did. Littering, creating a public disturbance—do I need to go on? I will, and the more I talk, the deeper the trouble you ‘brain surgeons’ are going to be in.” The deputy looked past the four guys. “Are you and the baby okay?”
“Yes.” Wes’s voice seemed so small in comparison to the deputy’s. “We’re fine. Thank you.”
The deputy took all the guys’ names from their IDs and put the pad back in his pocket. “I suggest you call the department tomorrow to see what charges are going to be filed. Now move along and be courteous to other people.”
Wes suppressed a smile as the guys lost their swagger and their shoulders slumped. It was a beautiful thing to see them taken down a peg.
“We were just walking,” Mark, the leader and the only one with any guts, said.
“Well, I have your names and addresses. I’ll check you all out and if you so much as step out of line again, I’ll be there to make you wish you had never been born. What kind of person forces someone walking a baby off the sidewalk?”
“Jackasses,” a man mumbled as he walked by, and clearly the guys heard it. Normal behavior would be to bluster and threaten, but the one tool in their arsenal had been pulled away.
“It seems you aren’t very popular.” The deputy pulled out his phone and made a call to request a background check on each of them. It was funny to see them sweat, and Wes half expected them to make a run for it. “Go on home and explain to your parents what you’ve done and to expect a call.” He tilted his head, and the guys hurried away, turning back and then walking faster out of there. “Are you really okay?” This time he broke into a smile, and dang, it was electric.
“Yes. They’re jerks but largely harmless.” Greyson was getting fussy and wanted to go. Wes rolled the stroller back and forth to generate some movement.
“What’s his name?” the deputy asked.
“Greyson,” Wes answered, and the deputy leaned over the stroller.
“You’re going to be a handsome boy, aren’t you?” he said in a baby voice, and Greyson grinned, actually reaching for the deputy’s hand. “Wow, now that’s a smile.” He straightened back up. “I’ll let you get back to your walk, but you have a nice evening.” The deputy smiled at him again and then continued down the sidewalk.
Wes stood, watching him go, and told himself not to stare at the way the deputy’s jeans clung to his perfect backside. He actually groaned and then turned away. The last thing he needed was to be caught ogling.
Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.
Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing) He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
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