Release Day!

My bestie Kelly Jensen has a new book out today! Don’t miss her blog tour stops and a chance to win!

Kelly Jensen

This book has been such a long time coming. I wrote it between Chaos Station and Lonely Shore, then had to put it aside because writing the rest of Felix’s journey alongside Zed was too absorbing and too much fun – even while they were breaking our hearts.

Now Block and Strike is finally here and I’m so, so excited!

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Jenn’s Favourite Books of 2016

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Looking back at my “read” shelf on Goodreads since this time last year, I’ve read about 310 books. About 110 of those were 5-star reads for me…so I’m not going to give you one blanket list of my faves. Your eyes will probably glaze over halfway through, and I know my fingers and my brain won’t appreciate making a list that large.

So what I’m going to do is present a few “favourite of 2016” lists: my favourite fantasy romances I read, fave contemporary, etc. I hope you’ll find some gems in the lists! Keep in mind that they’re all going to be m/m, since that’s what’s filled my Kindle this year. Also, they might not have been published this year, but this was the year I read them.

Okay, all good? Here we go!

My fave paranormal romances

Paranormal romance and urban fantasy are two of my favourite genres EVER, so it’s not a surprise that quite a few of the 300+ books I read this year fell into this category. Here are a few I absolutely adored.

wolfsong1Wolfsong by TJ Klune

THIS BOOK. It’s epic and awesome. Not only is the story a page turner as we travel with Ox through his childhood into adulthood, but the prose of this book is just amazing. There’s a poetic quality to it that made it one of my fave reads of all time. I can’t wait for the next one!

My Goodreads review of Wolfsong

Hunter of Demons (SPECTR #1) by Jordan L. Hawk

Why did I wait so long to read this series? It was awesome! The instalments are all novellas, so they’re super quick reads, but put them all together and you’ve got an epic paranormal adventure.

Wriggle & Sparkle by Megan Derr

What happens when you partner a kraken shifter who’s surprisingly well-adjusted considering he’s a monster of the deep with a unicorn shifter with a chip on his shoulder? A really enjoyable set of mysteries, that’s what! This book hit two of my fave catnips: shifters + law enforcement. Also, I loved that Lynn, the kraken shifter, can shift genders at will, too.

Best in Show by Kelly Jensen

This was my bestie Kelly’s first go at the paranormal genre and it’s just fantastic. Funny, emotional, sweet. I hope she revisits this world soon!

My Goodreads review of Best in Show

Triad Blood by ‘Nathan Burgoinetriad-blood1

I love stories set in my hometown of Ottawa, and I especially love this one because it feels like maybe, if I looked hard enough, I’d be able to see this world. It’s a lot like Charles de Lint’s books in that regard. This one features a triad who are bound by need rather than love…but I hope we’ll see the love develop over the course of the series. (It’s gonna be a series, right, ‘Nathan?)

My Goodreads review of Triad Blood

My fave contemporary romances

The thing I like most about contemporary romance is that it’s kind of a real-life fantasy. The characters might not be able to shift into other forms or cast spells, but they’ve got magic all the same, the sort we all have. Here are a few of my faves from this year.

Witches of London – Lars (Witches of London #1) by Aleksandr Voinov

This was a surprisingly gentle and sweet read by an author I’m more accustomed to being gritty and dark. The magical realism is strong in this book, but it’s still a contemporary, just one with a different viewpoint on the world. It’s a lovely story, and I can’t wait for the next book in the series.

How to be a Normal Person by TJ Klune

I’m not sure I’ve ever laughed so hard at a book (unless it was another TJ Klune book). The premise of this one is kind of ridiculous, but the characters and their foibles just suck you into their weird and wacky world.

My (very silly) Goodreads review of How to be a Normal Person

when-was-the-last-time1When Was the Last Time by Kelly Jensen

Of all the novellas Kelly released this year, this was my favourite. It’s such a sweet story about a guy realizing that, oh crap, he and his partner haven’t had sex in almost a year—and not because they don’t love each other anymore, but because life happened. His journey as he tries to balance work obligations with his desire to show his partner that he’s still the most important thing in his life is just so real.

My Goodreads review of When Was the Last Time

Strong Signal (Cyberlove #1) by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

One of the things I loved most about this book was how Kai’s anxiety was addressed. There was no magic pill to cure him of it, but the steps he takes in his development arc because Garrett is that important to him were wonderful.

My Goodreads review of Strong Signal

Will & Patrick Wake Up Married (Wake Up Married #1) by Leta Blake and Alice Griffithswill-patrick1

This serial took me completely by surprise. I hadn’t read a lot of Leta Blake before this, and nothing of Alice Griffiths, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, particularly because the premise is kind of silly (but awesomely silly). But what I found was a series that never got bogged down or stale and a depth to the characters that the funny instigating event in the blurb doesn’t really illustrate. I highly recommend this series!

My Goodreads review of Will & Patrick Wake Up Married

My fave fantasy romances

I kind of binged on fantasy romance this year. There’s just something about diving into another world that appeals…particularly since November. Ugh. Anyway, here are a few of my favourites!

high-king1The High King’s Golden Tongue (Tales of the High Court #1) by Megan Derr

This book was the first of Megan’s fantasy romances I’d read and I LOVED it. The world here isn’t your typical fantasy setting; instead of magic being a prized talent, people who can speak multiple languages are revered. They’re called Silver Tongues. The most talented, though, is the High King’s betrothed—whom he isn’t interested in, because he’s not a soldier. This was a fantastic, epic romp as Allen tries to figure out how to show his worth to Sarrica.

I have to give a mention here to a bunch of other Megan Derr fantasy romances I read this year and loved: Black Magic, The Engineered Throne, Bound (be warned; it’s really long!) and Tournament of Losers. They’re all fantastic and well worth checking out.

Reawakening (Reawakening #1) by Amy Rae Durreson

This series was a big surprise for me. I’d never read Amy Rae Durreson before so I wasn’t sure what to expect. What I got was an epic world of gods and spirits and all-powerful dragons, incredible beings who were still struggling in their battle against the ultimate evil. I especially loved the idea that a dragon’s horde was his people; it was just a wonderful concept and made these creatures that much more relatable.

The Lightning-Struck Heart (Tales of Verania #1) by TJ Klunelightning-struck1

This book was so much fun. It was more than a little ridiculous, but so, so enjoyable. The unresolved sexual tension in the book is off the charts, and the emotional turmoil on Sam’s part especially was painfully delicious. I can’t wait for the next book!

Brute by Kim Fielding

I put off reading this book for awhile because the blurb kind of hints at an unequal relationship between a jailer and a prisoner. Rest assured, it’s not a creepy thing. There’s no power play in this book, and Aric (the Brute of the title) is a surprisingly gentle and sweet soul. It’s an emotional and poignant read, and definitely worth picking up.

My fave sci-fi romances

I didn’t read nearly as much sci-fi romance this year as I have in years past, but the ones I did read, I loved.

Safe in Your Fire (The Village #1) by Darien Cox

This entire series is awesome. It’s contemporary-set, on modern-day Earth, but…aliens. And honestly, one of the aliens is my favourite part of this series. I won’t spoil it…you need to discover him for yourself. I especially liked the sense of brotherhood between the men on the team; they’re colleagues, but they depend on each other 100%, and that makes for a very satisfying support network when the guys need it.

different-sensesDifferent Senses by Ann Somerville

This book is actually a series of novellas, but they combine to tell a larger story. And what a story. It’s set on a human-colonized world a looooong time in the future. The world was actually colonized twice: first by one group of humans, who were then overpowered by another group of humans. (The implied comparison with the European colonization of the New World and the defeat of indigenous North Americans is not subtle.) The first group of humans has psychic abilities that are disparaged, while the second group of humans does not, and there’s a lot of discrimination that happens. The main character of the series is a cop who gets injured, and in the aftermath discovers he has some of the psychic genes of the first group of humans that he was previously unaware of. What follows is a journey of a man trying to accept himself and also trying to understand a culture he had previously ignored. It’s a long, slow build for the relationship portion of things, but that means that the journey and development arc is that much more satisfying. Highly recommend.

My Goodreads review of Different Senses

My fave romances with cops or other law enforcement

Cops or law enforcement in m/m is one of my catnip tropes. I devour them almost as fast as I can find them. Favourite authors: please write MOAR.

tied-up-in-knots1Tied up in Knots (Marshals #3) by Mary Calmes

I think I’ve re-read Mary Calmes’s Marshals series like three times now. I adore Miro and Ian…probably even more than Sam and Jory. (I know: blasphemy!) What I love most is that although Ian sort of fits the role of alpha in their relationship, it’s not as obvious as in Matter of Time with Sam. Miro can also be alpha, and he gives Ian a run for his money.

Dirty Heart (Cole McGinnis #6) by Rhys Ford

In the first book of the Cole McGinnis series, you discover that years before, Cole’s cop partner shot Cole, Cole’s boyfriend, and then committed suicide. It was the event that changed the course of Cole’s life, a huge, horrible attack that made no sense, and the question of why haunted Cole…and me, too! But by the time I picked up this book, after reading through all the others and going on Cole’s journey to finding love again, I realized that the reasons behind his partner’s actions didn’t matter—and how amazing was it to see that state of mind reflected in Cole’s narration. It was really gratifying, and a testament to Rhys Ford’s storytelling that she was able to bring this reader to that point the same as her character.

My fave sports romances

Confession: I don’t read a lot of sports romances, and the ones I do read tend to be hockey romances. Because…well, Canadian. Luckily hockey romances in m/m seem to be on an upswing! Here are some excellent ones I read this year.

breakaway1Breakaway (Scoring Chances #1) by Avon Gale

One word: LANE. Okay, I’ll give you a few more words than that. I’ve reread this book a few times now, and the joy that is Lane and Jared still resonates each time. Lane is just so awkward. Amazing on the ice, but he’s not the smartest dude, and really has no social graces. But the best part of this book is when Lane gets traded. Avon Gale nailed his reaction perfectly.

Also, every other book in Avon’s Scoring Chances is one you should consider. They’re all super enjoyable, and while hockey obviously plays a bit part of the books (duh), it doesn’t overwhelm them. After Breakaway, my favourite is Power Play (#3 in the series), because Max is also adorably clueless but super happy about it and Misha is broody and stoic…they’re a perfect pairing.

My Goodreads review of Breakaway

Happy New Year!

Much love to my reader and author friends! May 2017 bring us all more awesome books and all the joy we can stand.

 

All Romance eBooks Closure

Yesterday, the news of All Romance eBooks’ impending closure blew through the romance genre community. Plenty of people have spoken up about the unethical way this closure is unfolding—check Twitter or Facebook for a multitude of well-deserved rants against the company. All I’ll say is shame on ARe for paying a pittance on royalties owed and withholding royalties altogether for Q4 on books it published.

To my readers, if you have a library on ARe, you’ll want to download your books before midnight on December 31, as the site will go dark and you won’t be able to access anything after that time. Because there are thousands of readers trying to do this, the site has been very slow. However, I found that there were no crashes early this morning, so you might consider planning your downloads for tomorrow morning around 6 a.m. EST. Such a pain, I know.

Many authors have removed their books from the site. The Chaos Station books are no longer available there, either. If you’re looking to purchase any of the Chaos Station books, they’re available on Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and the Carina Press site. (You can check out the Chaos Station site or my site for more details and links to the individual books.)

It doesn’t seem that ARe will be honouring pre-orders, but Dreamspinner Press, Interlude Press, NineStar Press, and Less Than Three Press have all said they will provide you with a copy of your pre-ordered book if you show them your pre-order receipt. Kudos to them for this classy move. (Edit to add that JMS Books has also offered to honour pre-orders.)

And, finally, authors who have been burned by this debacle are encouraged to contact Writer Beware at beware[at]sfwa.org.

Kind of a crappy way to end a year. 😦

 

 

Win a piece of Chaos Station for your bookshelf!

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We have a new book for you!

Actually, it’s not entirely new. Zed and Felix have their happy ever after and we don’t want to mess with that. If we ever do revisit the world of Chaos Station, it will be with a different story with a new couple. Yes, we have plans! For now, however, we’ve been busy putting together a piece of Chaos Station for collector’s bookshelves.

Always and Forever is a print edition of all the short stories we wrote alongside the Chaos Station series, and we want to give away a copy each to two of our wonderful readers! What do you need to do to enter our giveaway? All of our newsletter subscribers are entered automatically.

For more entries, help us share the news using the links provided in our current newsletter. Record your entries using our rafflecopter!

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Always and Forever

In Chaos Station (Chaos Station #1), Zander Anatolius and Felix Ingesson are reunited after nine years apart. Zander believes Felix was captured and executed by the enemy in the years long Human-Stin War. Felix believes Zander was swallowed by a black ops program, probably never to surface again. Their reunion, therefore, is a rather profound event and the basis for the five-book Chaos Station series.

That’s not where their story begins, however.

Collected here are the extra stories written alongside the Chaos Station series. “Graduation” and “Reunion” are set before the adventure begins, “Kiss the Guardian” and “Salute to the Sun” during the action, and “Honeymoon” serves as the final chapter.

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WIP Weekend Peek – Baying for Blood

As promised, here’s a snippet from my WIP, Baying for Blood. Rev’s a wildblood—a werewolf—but he’s got issues. And being stuck in a crappy motel away from home by a late-spring storm means that Keegan, a virtual stranger, has to deal with them.


I’m not sure I can do this.

That was Keegan’s first thought as he surfaced from sleep to find light streaming in through the motel room’s front window—highlighting a very large, very naked Rev shivering in the middle of the room.

“Rev?” Keegan pushed himself up on his elbows, blinking away the crusty sand of too little sleep. He refocused—and saw red scratches from biceps to wrist on Rev’s arm. “Shit!” He jolted out of bed, but Rev stepped back, bending into a crouch, his teeth bared. Right. Slower movements. “Sorry,” he murmured, holding out a hand to placate the beast. Because even if Rev wore human skin at the moment, he was definitely more beast than man. “It’s just me. You see me?”

He froze, waiting for Rev’s usual response. Somehow, over the past couple of days, it had gotten to be a thing with them. Keegan tried to ignore the small spurt of pleasure in his gut that he shared a thing, even such a small one, with Rev.

Slowly, Rev’s lips closed to cover his teeth. “I see you.”

“Good. That’s good. I’m going to come over to you, okay? I want to check your arms…and your chest.” Because now that he was facing Rev head on, he could see that the stupid wildblood had done more damage than just to his arm. Christ.

Keegan detangled himself from the sheets with care, keeping his eyes on Rev the whole time. The other man’s hazel eyes were wide, constantly moving, checking the door, the window, the bathroom door in precise increments. Keegan kept murmuring soft words of comfort and encouragement, unsure how far gone Rev was. Far enough to hurt himself—not so far he couldn’t understand English. Keegan supposed he’d count that as a partial win.

“Easy now. Easy.” He took Rev’s hand, eyes on Rev’s face, watching for a reaction. He saw only the slightest relaxing of lines around Rev’s mouth and across his brow. Then Rev let out a soft sigh, and the shivering Keegan had observed—which was actually more like trembling—lessened. Satisfied that his touch had been accepted, Keegan turned his attention to the welts scratched into Rev’s flesh.

He couldn’t help the way his mouth turned downward at the external evidence of Rev’s internal battle. The scratches weren’t deep—not as deep as the ones that had caused the silvery scarring on Rev’s forearms. Beads of blood welled up here and there, and there were dry brown streaks smeared between the angry welts.

“Need to run,” Rev muttered.

“You need to stop hurting yourself,” Keegan huffed. God, what time was it? How many more hours until today was over?

“This isn’t the right skin. I need—”

Keegan grabbed Rev’s hand before he could start scratching again. “Stop! This is the only skin you’ve got, remember?”

“No.” It came out a whine. “I have another. I have to have another…”

Keegan squeezed Rev’s hands hard. “You don’t. Christ, Revie, don’t lose it on me now.”

Rev blinked and frowned, staring at Keegan’s hands over his own. After a minute, a noise somewhere between a laugh and sob escaped him. “Think it might be too late for that.”

A minute amount of tension seeped away from Keegan’s shoulders at the self-deprecating tone in Rev’s voice. If he was aware enough for a comment like that, maybe today wouldn’t be as long as Keegan was dreading.

“C’mon, let’s get you cleaned up.” With a gentle nudge to Rev’s arm, Keegan guided him into the bathroom. As hard as he tried, he couldn’t prevent his gaze from sweeping down the length of Rev’s uninjured back to his tight, firm buttocks. The flow of the muscles begged to be appreciated, despite the fact that now was so not the time. Only a pervert would ogle a man who was barely in his right mind.

Good thing I don’t believe in hell, because that’s where I’d be going.

Rev hissed as he stepped under the warm water—then he just stood there, motionless, except for the trembling that resurfaced. Keegan watched him for a few seconds, waiting for Rev to come back to himself enough to pick up the soap and wash, but Rev made no move to do so. His eyes grew unfocused, and tension crept back into the muscles of his chest and arms.

“Hey,” Keegan said softly, but loud enough for Rev to hear him over the stream of water. “The soap’s right beside you.”

Rev didn’t look at him. Or at the soap.

Keegan let his head hang for a second, then yanked off his t-shirt. This was not how he’d wanted to get naked with Rev—and yeah, okay, getting naked with Rev had crossed his mind more than once since first laying eyes on him. The man was built, and there was no aphrodisiac like the air of confidence. Unless it was an air of vulnerability.

My freaking kryptonite.

Keegan stepped into the shower and immediately grabbed the soap. This was business, nothing more. A glance downward confirmed that Rev was soft—not surprising, since Keegan wasn’t even sure if Rev was aware of anything at the moment—and Keegan wrote off his half-chub as normal. Natural. Involuntary. The dude was hot, okay? He might be a witch, but he was only human.

He scrubbed Rev’s arms as gently as he could, while still forceful enough to remove the blood stains. When he moved onto Rev’s chest, he tried not to think of how he would prefer to touch it—light, teasing strokes, maybe a little pinch on a nipple, followed by a handful of muscle…

Gods be damned, his half-chub was more like a three-quarter version now. Okay, time to get out before he did something stupid. Keegan replaced the soap in the shower’s built-in dish with a jittery hand—only to have it slip out of his grip to bang against the bottom of the tub. He bent down, turning, trying to grab it before it slithered to the drain, and his butt brushed Rev’s groin.

Above him, Rev drew in a sharp breath. Before Keegan even knew what was happening, his back was shoved against the cold tile of the wall, and he had a wildblood looming over him, pressing close.

“Smell good,” Rev rumbled in Keegan’s ear.

Keegan shoved at Rev’s shoulder, but it was like trying to move a boulder with his bare hands. “Rev, it’s me. Keegan.”

“I know. I’d know your scent anywhere.”

Keegan wasn’t sure if he should be thankful Rev was aware of who he was and what he was doing, or frightened. Strangely, fear wouldn’t fully manifest. Maybe because his cock had given up on being only partially interested to spring forward to fully invested.

“I was just helping you clean up.”

“Uh huh.” Rev nosed the skin beneath Keegan’s ear, and Keegan fought the overwhelming urge to melt.

“We can’t—you’re not—”

“I’m focused,” Rev breathed. “For the first time in hours, I can think.” He huffed out a slight chuckle. “Okay, all I’m thinking about is making you scream, but I can think.”

Keegan dragged in a mouthful of moist, soap-scented air. “This is a bad idea,” he managed to say, despite his body screaming just the opposite. It had been months since he broke up with Claude, his last boyfriend, and Keegan was never one for hookups—it just wasn’t in him to look for no-strings-attached sex. He’d been raised to see sex as natural and normal, nothing to avoid or be ashamed of, but also as a celebration of the magic of being alive. He didn’t want to share that magic with people whose names he didn’t know.

But you know Rev’s name, his libido argued.

So not the point, he shot back.

“It’s not a bad idea if we both want it,” Rev countered. His fingers drifted across Keegan’s thigh to skim along his dick.

Someone had to be the rational one here. Keegan forced the pleasure of Rev’s touch out of his mind, and focused on words. On reasons. “You’re not yourself.”

Rev scored Keegan’s neck with his teeth, the light-but-dangerous caress enough to make Keegan shudder. “Debatable. There are moments during the full moon where I feel more me than I’ve ever felt. Like now.” Rev’s fingers slipped into Keegan’s hair, under the messy knot he’d pulled the locks into before getting into the shower, and tugged. Keegan couldn’t help the whimper that escaped. “You want this.”

Yes. No. “Rev—”

“Please. Keegan…” Rev’s inhale was shaky. “Please.”

It would take a superhuman to resist the ragged plea—and Keegan was anything but. He tilted his chin upward, offering his lips to Rev, and Rev didn’t mistake the gesture. Or hesitate.

He simply devoured.

Keegan had never been kissed quite like that before—with a hunger that bordered on animalistic. His partners had been passionate at times, sure, but civilized. Controlled, for the most part. Rev was anything but. His teeth clashed against Keegan’s. His tongue fought for dominance and won, conquering Keegan’s mouth. His lips demanded more, demanded everything, and Keegan had no choice but to give in. A soft whimper escaped him. Rev answered with a low, rumbly chuckle.

“Shut up,” Keegan gasped.

“I like your sounds.” Rev pressed harder against Keegan, his hard cock illustrating just how much he liked them. “Make some more.”

Keegan huffed. “It’s not something I can do on command, you—” He bit off the words with a moan as Rev’s teeth sank into his neck—hard enough to be felt, not hard enough to be truly painful.

“Mm-hmm.” Rev reached unerringly behind him and switched off the water. “Out.”

Teaser Tuesday – Baying for Blood

I don’t do this often, but I’m excited about this new project I’m working on, so I thought I’d share a snippet! This is a paranormal m/m romance set in my hometown, because why not. In this world, paranormal creatures are rare but known—and some of them, like Darrell Revie, or Rev, would have preferred to remain in the proverbial darkness.

Grumpy alpha shifter (sort of…you’ll see): check

Sweet non-alpha love interest (sort of…): check

Murder and mayhem: check and check!

Keep in mind this is just a draft…but I hope it piques your interest!


“Boss?”

Rev groaned. “Oh for Christ’s—what now?”

Nick gave him an apologetic smile. “Yeah, sorry. There’s someone out here who wants to talk with you.”

“Who?”

“I dunno. Haven’t seen him before.”

“Tell him I’m not available.”

Nick shifted uncomfortably. “He’s, uh, got a weird vibe. Kinda like you.”

Most normal humans couldn’t point out paranormals in human form—but Rev had made sure his team had that skill. Any advantage was worthwhile honing, even if paranormals were rare enough that a human might go their whole life and see only one—and they might not realize it.

“Better not be a wolf,” Rev growled.

He would fuck their shit up for daring to enter his territory. Barely holding back the rumble in his chest, he pushed past Nick toward the front of the house. Rounding the corner of the bar, he expected to see a muscular form—maybe one of his brothers, someone close to his own 6’2” height, rough looking from hard living.

Instead, he came face to face with a guy who didn’t look quite real.

His long, medium-brown hair was drawn back into a thick braid, gold highlights woven through it—they had to be natural as there was no scent of chemicals lingering. In fact, the guy smelled fresh and…herbal. Not the sort of herbs that could get you arrested, either, but nice ones, like lavender and lemongrass. He wore at least three leather necklaces, each sporting a different combination of stones, metal beads, and semi-precious gems. More leather straps encircled both wrists with the same sort of decorations. His clothes were normal, too—an athletic jacket over comfortable t-shirt that wasn’t too worn, and dark wash jeans.

It was a package that wouldn’t normally do it for Rev—too hippie or hipster or whatever the fuck it was these days—but then he caught the guy’s gaze. If his eyes had been watered-down blue, or muddy green, he probably would have been able to look away. But no, they were deep, amazing brown—rich and warm and full of the same hints of gold in his hair, as though some of the treasure buried inside of this guy were shining through.

Cheesy much?

The guy hopped down from his barstool and Rev was startled to find he wasn’t much shorter than he was. Maybe an inch or two. “Darrell Revie?”

“Rev,” he corrected. “Can I help you?”

The guy tilted his head to the side, as if to say maybe not. “I’m Keegan Skye. I run the OPC blog. Ottawa Paranormals Connections,” he clarified.

Oh, Christ. “No, thank you. There’s the door.” He waved in the general direction of the front door and turned away.

“Wait, wait, wait.”

Keegan leaped forward and grabbed Rev’s forearm, exposed by the rolled-up sleeve of his plaid button-down. A shock, edging on the not-fun side of painful, snapped between them, and Keegan drew his hand back, shaking it. Rev resisted rubbing his arm, because like hell he was giving away any hint of vulnerability to this guy. This…whack job.

Yeah, he knew all about the OPC blog, trying to create some sense of community among the very small, very diverse Ottawa paranormal community. Paranormals had been “out” for about seventeen years now—thanks to a video of a cop/pack standoff, complete with wildblood transforming on film—so they weren’t exactly old news. No matter how much the OPC spouted about equality and banding together for the greater good, the fact remained that if the paranormals had had a choice in the matter, they would have stayed in the proverbial (and sometimes literal) darkness, rather than dealing with a world that knew they existed, even if it preferred to pretend they didn’t.

“Shit, sorry,” Keegan murmured. “Look, I’m hoping you can help me. You’re a wildblood, right?”

“That’s not exactly common knowledge,” Rev growled.

“Common enough. One of my neighbors has family in Almonte and they were all abuzz a few years ago about the new wildblood bar.”

Rev grumbled.

“But that’s neither here nor there.”

The chime over the front door tinkled and Rev looked up to see a man and a woman, both wearing suits with dark overcoats, step into the bar. His nostrils flared at the scent of gun oil on the breeze generated by the door opening, and he held up a finger to Keegan. “Hold that thought.”

Rev abandoned Keegan at the bar and wove through the tables to the foyer. The cops—because that’s what they had to be, since no one in Almonte wore suits or carried guns—watched his every move from their position next to the Please Wait to be Seated sign. Quasi-predators. In his territory. His wolf was not impressed.

Honeymoon: A Chaos Station Short Story

Back in May, we said the official goodbye to Zed and Felix, but we wanted to have one last visit with them for the fans of the series to see that, yes, the boys are having a well-deserved happily ever after. That happily ever after might include things being taken apart that shouldn’t be taken apart, or accidental shenanigans in bed…but that’s only to be expected with Zed and Felix.

I hope you enjoy this short story. Be sure to visit our Chaos Station site for more fun extras like this. And if you want sneak peeks on what’s coming next for Kelly and I, sign up for our mailing list.

honeymoonHoneymoon

A Chaos Station story

Zander can’t quite believe a galactic emergency didn’t interrupt their wedding. Felix can’t quite believe he’s married. One thing is for sure, though, these guys need a holiday! So they book a cruise aboard the drift ship Biswas.

There is no death or dismemberment in this story. No hull breaches, no marauding aliens. This is Zed and Felix, though, so not everything is going to go according to plan.

Honeymoon is available to read now!

MOBI | EPUBPDF

(Oh, and if you’re so inclined, I’ve updated my personal website with a new look and content!)

Cover Reveal: Counting Fence Posts

A new Kelly Jensen book is coming! (Two, actually, but stay tuned for the details about the second). This one is an awesome stranded-in-a-snowstorm story, exactly what you need to stave off the heat of July. Check out Kelly’s post for preorder details!

Kelly Jensen

I have two new titles releasing with Dreamspinner in July! The first is Counting Fence Posts, a contemporary romance featuring two guys who are forced off the road during a blizzard. Trapped together in a rental car, they begin to talk and soon discover that the undercurrent of tension between them isn’t really hostile. More, it stems from layers of misconception, and given the chance to talk… Well, first they quarrel. Then they talk some more. As the snow surrounding the car deepens, so does their conversation, and they figure out that the tension between them is really a mutual attraction.

Bree Archer designed the cover for this book and I love it! As always, she really captured the feeling of my story and my characters. She is such a joy to work with!

Counting Fence Posts is available now for pre-order on the Dreamspinner website. Read on below for the cover copy and a super…

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ICYMI: A Chaos Station cut scene & a new short story coming soon!

It’s been a month since the release of Phase Shift (Chaos Station #5). We miss our guys, but we’re working on new stories with new characters we hope you’ll come to love just as much as Zander, Felix and the Chaos crew.

In the meantime, enjoy this cut scene and a sneak peek at the cover of our last Chaos Station short, “Honeymoon”.

Therapy

 

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(You can totally picture Felix popping bubble wrap, can’t you?)

If you thought the guys were in desperate need of therapy by the end of Skip Trace, you weren’t alone!

Skip Trace (Chaos Station #3) was probably the most heavily edited of the five books. We had to rearrange a few things and cut a few scenes we really loved. One of the cut scenes was a therapy session with Zander, Felix and Dr. McMann – who gets several mentions in the later books!

While we understood therapy would be an important element in the journey of both men, the scene slowed the pace of the ending too much, so we ended up taking some of the relevant parts out (such as how Felix broke his hand) and using them in other scenes. As a whole, this scene remains one of our favourites, however, and we like to imagine this session did actually happen as written, shortly after the events of Skip Trace.

Read “Therapy” here.

Honeymoon

ebe4a4d5-b3f2-4786-8b76-99546fdc219fZander and Felix deserve a break! Downtime is difficult for these former soldiers; no doubt they’ll find an adventure or two aboard the drift cruiser Biswas. There will be no severed limbs, near death experiences or kidnappings in this story! But this is Zed and Flick, so not everything is going to go exactly as planned.

Coming at the end of June!

Visit the Chaos Station website for more cut scenes, excerpts and short stories.

Starting the reading season right

I read all year ’round, but there’s something about sitting in the sunshine with a book—whether on the beach or on the patio—that’s just so awesome. Since I started reading ebooks a few years back, I’ve used a tablet, but I decided this year, I wanted to do more reading outside, so for Mother’s Day, Hubby and the kids got me a Kindle Paperwhite. So far, I’m loving it. I didn’t think the e-ink would be that much easier on the eyes, but wow.

Anyway, over the past month, I’ve read some great books. Check them out…

Triad Blood by ‘Nathan Burgoine

triad-blood

This is the first full-length novel featuring ‘Nathan Burgoine’s paranormal triad: Luc the vampire, Anders the demon, and Curtis the wizard. In this world, paranormal creatures must form groups of three (or more) in order to be safe from other creatures, and those groups are usually of one kind: three vampires, three demons, etc. In previous short stories, Luc, Anders and Curtis—each alone and vulnerable—formed a connection with each other that started out as solely an act of desperation, but has developed into something more like friendship.

This was a well-woven tale, meshing storylines from each member of the triad into a cohesive whole. The pacing was excellent, the mystery kept me turning the pages, and I loved the depth of the world ‘Nathan has created here. The characters are also very well developed and individual, but complementary, too. Luc is the old soul, so to speak; Curtis is the intellectual; and Anders is as daring and rakish as you’d expect a demon to be.

I especially appreciated that the book felt Canadian. There’s always something really special about a book set in your home town. Being able to visualize the area being described in words brings you that much deeper into the story. ‘Nathan did a great job of incorporating the culture and presence of Ottawa into the story seamlessly. (Also, I giggled that Curtis lived in the same general neighbourhood that my hero of Her Sexy Sentinel lived in…clearly there’s something magical about the Rideau Canal area.)

I will note that this book was more on the urban fantasy side of things rather than romance. I’m hoping that the relationship between Luc, Anders and Curtis develops further in future books. They have a good foundation for it now!

You can pick up Triad Blood at:

Amazon USBarnes & NobleAmazon CanadaChapters-IndigoBold Strokes Books

 

Breakaway and the Scoring Chances series by Avon Gale

Do you like hockey with your m/m? If you haven’t read this series by Avon Gale yet, you need to! I absolutely fell in love with the characters in the first book, particularly Lane, and I ended up devouring the rest of the series over the next few days.

In Breakaway, Lane Courtnall is a rookie on the ECHL’s Jacksonville Sea Storm. He’s 20, gay, from Chatham, Ontario, and does not communicate well—he’s a shade too blunt and really doesn’t grasp the point of a brain-mouth filter. His teammates don’t like him very much because of said lack of brain-mouth filter, so he decides to throw his gloves down during a game against Jacksonville’s rivals, against their bruiser, Jared Shore. As it turns out, Jared’s bisexual, and that fight leads to Lane and Jared connecting off the ice in a much more pleasant manner. But Jared’s at the end of his career (he’s in his early 30s) while Lane is at the start of his very promising one, so can they figure out how to work out a future together?

The best thing about Avon’s Scoring Chances series is how strongly the love of hockey shines through the narration and the characters. There’s not a lot of angst in these books (the third is about the angstiest to date, but I think the upcoming number four might top it). Most of the players have no problem accepting their bisexual and gay teammates, which is refreshing. These books are about the love of the game first and foremost, which makes them a joy to read.

Even if you’re not a hockey fan, I think you’d still like these books. They make hockey very accessible—the games and practices are big parts of the story, but the books don’t linger on the play-by-play on the ice. I seriously loved them.

You can pick up Breakaway and the other Scoring Chances books at:

Amazon USBarnes & NobleAmazon CanadaChapters-IndigoDreamspinner Press

 

Will & Patrick Wake Up Married serial by Leta Blake & Alice Griffiths

5116zgrdydl-_sx331_bo1204203200_One morning in Vegas, two strangers wake up in bed together. Neither Will nor Patrick really remembers the night before (at first, anyway), but their bodies illustrate that there was some serious loving happening. All night. And to top it off, they’re sporting matching wedding rings. Oops.

For almost anyone else in that situation, it would be a simple thing to get a divorce—but not for Will. He’s the son of a mobster, who inherited a massive trust fund from his grandfather, and one of the stipulations of the inheritance is that should he ever marry, it needed to be for love, and divorcing will ensure his inheritance returns to his mobster relatives. He can’t let that happen, because he’s got a humanitarian non-profit depending on those funds. Double oops.

This series of novellas was such a fun romp. The family drama was dramatic—as you expect a mob family to be—but the characters of Will and Patrick raised the story to a whole new level. Will is diabetic and an alcoholic, which I thought was worked into the story quite well and not used for melodramatics. Patrick is a neurosurgeon, with all of the ego that goes along with that. He also has Asperger’s, which shines through in his dealings with everyone in Will’s wacky hometown.

Because this is a serial, with quite a significant overall word count, Leta Blake and Alice Griffiths have plenty of time to explore Will and Patrick’s personalities and the secondary characters as well. There are plenty of ups and downs for the two of them, from difficulties at Patrick’s new job to Will’s still-lingering feelings for his ex. This was the best kind of contemporary romance, with more than a little wish fulfillment, a ton of sexual tension, and scads of emotions, both high and low.

The first episode is currently free on Amazon and elsewhere if you want to give it a try. You can also buy all of the books in one package for a decent discount, which is what I did after whipping through the first book.

You can pick up the serial package of Will & Patrick Wake Up Married at:

Amazon US | Amazon Canada

It seems Barnes & Noble only has the individual episodes.

 

Embrace the Beast by Mia West

41z0e5ri8dlThis is the latest novella in Mia’s Grizzly Rim series. I’ve loved the previous books in this series, but you can definitely read this one as a standalone if you wish.

Otter shifter Nate Landry might have come to Alaska under not-the-best circumstances, but he’s made himself a home amongst the other shifters in Grizzly Rim. Except none of them know he’s using a borrowed name, not even his best friend Mac. Mac’s got his own secrets that keep him from getting too close to anyone, but when he finds out that Nate’s real name is Charlie, and the circumstances surrounding his flight to Alaska, he can’t help but be drawn even closer to the man.

One of the things I love about Mia’s Grizzly Rim series is that although the books are novella-sized, they are complete and whole stories that balance their paranormal and romantic elements very well. If you’re looking for a very well done paranormal snack, I highly recommend these books!

You can pick up Embrace the Beast at:

Amazon USBarnes & NobleAmazon CanadaChapters-Indigo

 

Burn the Sky by Jaye McKenna

51233haxdklI found Burn the Sky through an automatically generated recommendation on Goodreads. I’d never read Jaye McKenna before, but I love high fantasy romance. Plus, dragons!

Prince Garrick is a bit of a playboy—he doesn’t take his studies too seriously, since his younger brother Jaire is serious enough for the both of them. He’s much more interested in a tumble with his buddy, Kian, than learning things he’ll need to know as the next Wytch King of Altan. But when Jaire develops his Wytch powers, Garrick’s world starts to crumble. At 20, Garrick should have developed his powers years ago, and the fact that he hasn’t means that he’s not liking to hold his title of Heir Presumptive for much longer. Though Jaire has strong magic, he’s frail and delicate, and unprepared to become Wytch King. In order to save his brother, Garrick agrees to undergo a spell to forcefully awaken his Wytch powers…which results in disaster.

Ilya, a Wytch Master who is an expert in dangerous powers is called in to train Garrick—or to try, anyway. Because if Garrick can’t learn to control himself, Ilya won’t be his saviour—he’ll be his doom.

One of the things I really enjoyed about these books was that Jaye McKenna takes the time to set up her characters individually, so you know exactly what each character’s motivations and goals are by the time they meet. The world-building is deep, but she only provides what you need to know on the page—which is awesome. I really enjoyed both of the books in the Wytch Kings series, and I’ll be looking at more from this author!

You can pick up Burn the Sky at:

Amazon USBarnes & NobleAmazon Canada | Chapters-Indigo

Happy reading!