New Release by Heloise West

Hey, just letting everyone know that a friend of mine has a release coming out next week!  Details are below. Heloise is an awesome writer, and I love everything that she does.

The release date of Send Lawyers, Guns, Roses is April 19, 2016. This is not a standalone novel, but the sequel to Hitting Black Ice (Loose Id December, 2014). It’s part of the Heart and Haven series:




When Hunter and Alex (formally Shawn) are given the vacation of a lifetime, it’s a chance for them to pay attention to romance and get out of the path of danger. The tiny Caribbean island of Saba is gorgeous, the first to have marriage equality, and the Sabans are the nicest people on earth.

There’s lots of rum poolside for relaxing and a room with a mirror on the ceiling for passion. Hot karaoke nights, cold beer, and new friends.

Their new friends Orfeo and Max, and Max’s sister Talisha, share a troubling secret. Alex and Hunter want to help. As a hurricane bears down on them, a dead body surfaces, and a purple backpack loaded with stolen jewels leads a pair of dangerous men to the island.

Alex would rather poke his own eyes out with a pointy stick than call on his old enemy Nick Truman for help; he’d also do anything to keep Hunter out of danger. But even his nemesis can’t reach them now.

Once again, they only have each other to depend on as their paradise is about to become hell on earth.


Hitting Black Ice:

ER physician’s assistant Hunter guards his heart carefully, but that doesn’t stop him from falling for Shawn, the front desk clerk.  He keeps his distance from relationships for a reason, but just can’t help himself when it comes to Shawn.

Shawn is on the run from the law and love to protect himself and anyone else involved. One man is dead because of him, and his life now is simple and easily thrown into a bag at any hint of danger. Until he meets Hunter, and he no longer wants to run.

Forced into a hostage situation, buried passion explodes in the aftermath, and sex in the supply closet brings their hearts back to life. Tentatively, step by step, they begin to explore a relationship together until the past catches up with Shawn.

FBI agent Nick Truman has finally found his man, but when Shawn escapes, he focuses his attention on Hunter. Shawn returns, even though it means sacrificing himself to save Hunter from the man who framed him for murder.

Buy Links:


About Heloise West:

Heloise West, when not hunched over the keyboard plotting love and mayhem, dreams about moving to a villa in Tuscany. She loves history, mysteries, and romance of all flavors. She travels and gardens with her partner of 10 years, and their home overflows with books, cats, art, and red wine.

Where to find Heloise:











Guest Post: New Release by Heloise West!

Today I’m  recommending this latest book from my fellow workshop writer, Heloise West, who is the most awesome critiquer ever. I’ like to add that I plan to grab this one, because it sounds right up my alley.

If I Were Fire by Heloise West

Dreamspinner Press September 16, 2015


In 18th century Siena, Count Salvesto Masello has returned home to find the family villa and his father’s estate steeped deeply in debt. In order to save it, he has been selling off valuable family heirlooms, but he is running out of silverware. Somewhere in the villa his deceased father had hidden the art treasures that will pay the debt, but Salvesto can’t find them anywhere.

Amadeo Neruccio has been on the run from the vicious pimp, thief, and pawnbroker Guelfetto, but his toughs finally catch him and bring him to the cellar where Count Masello is selling off his silver. When the count learns what fate Guelfetto has in store for Amadeo, he intervenes and trades the last of his mother’s dowry for the young man’s freedom.

Salvesto had left home over ten years ago to live the life of adventure he craved. He had also hoped to leave his broken heart behind. When he rescues young Amadeo, he does not expect to find love again, or that his adventures had yet to end.


Seated in the shade of the loggia attached to the surgeon’s house, Amadeo waited for the conte, barely able to think for the pain in his body. Bone-deep pain, like a bad tooth. He sighed, but his breath hitched like an uneven stitch.


He jumped at the sound of his former lover’s voice. Glancing around, he espied Barone Malavolti standing in the narrow street beneath a chestnut tree a few arm lengths away; his expression was a mask of boredom, though he stood there without his hat, a little breathless and pink-cheeked. Leaning on a silver-tipped cane he did not need, he had dressed today in a beautiful dark gray velvet jacket and the long pale blue waistcoat beneath it embroidered with bright flowers, all held together with small ebony buttons. His creamy white linen shirt and cravat were spotless. All that fine cloth hid a mercurial character and a whippet-lean body that contained a fierce strength. Glossy black hair, brown eyes, and a slightly round, handsome face, the dark circles under his tired eyes spoke of a long night of debauchery. Amadeo turned quickly away, angry and embarrassed all at once.

“Don’t ignore me.”

“No, Barone.” Amadeo stood.

“I wanted to make sure you were—not dead, as someone said, murdered in Guelfetto’s cellar or sent off to Florence to pay your debt.” His clipped tone made Amadeo wince.

“It was never my debt!” He lowered his voice. “I came to you for help, but you did not believe me. He told everyone that I agreed to lose the race for payment. You believed that bandit over me.” Amadeo swallowed back his disappointment. “Me. Your bad habit.” It was terribly rude, but he had to sit in the shade and close his eyes, as the hot, bright sun pierced his skull and made his head pound even harder. To his surprise, Malavolti followed to stand beneath the loggia with him. Encouraged by that, Amadeo whispered, “You said you loved me, but you lied. How is what you think I have done worse than that?”

Malavolti said, “I am not a liar. And only a poet would see that as a crime.”

Amadeo truly wanted to shake the barone until his teeth rattled, but restrained himself. “Guelfetto had sold me to a bathhouse in Florence to whore for those stinking pig-dogs until I die. Conte Masello has rescued me. I do not need you anymore.”

Malavolti flinched. “What has Conte Masello to do with all this, Neruccio?”

“He was there….” Amadeo stopped and considered his words. Malavolti need not know the conte was there selling his mother’s silver plates. “He took pity on me when I said I would give myself to the Arno and paid my debt to Guelfetto.”

“Paid your price, you mean.”

Stubborn, prideful man! To think he wept at the lines I wrote for him and him alone. He believed me then, at least. Perhaps the new one in his bed has left him, and left him bitter.

“We have a bond agreement,” Amadeo said wearily. “I’m to be the new groom for the stables. At least I’ll be with the horses.”

“Ah, my poor poet,” Malavolti mocked. “Poor Cecco. ‘But to show wisdom’s what I never could. So where I itch, I scratch now.’”

A pet name for the famed Sienese poet of a long dead age, Cecco Angiolieri, and the old lines fell upon Amadeo’s ears like a slap. Malavolti had encouraged and supported his own poetic lines at one time, but no more. “If you do not believe me still, be gone, Gianni. No one torments me as much as I do myself, so you waste your time.” His grieving heart forced him to continue the lines: “‘I’m down, and cannot rise in any way; For not a creature of my nearest kin/Would hold out a hand that I could reach….’”

Except for one man.

The door to the house creaked open, and Malavolti turned away, continuing on his path up the street as if they had never spoken.

About the author:

Heloise West, when not hunched over the keyboard plotting love and mahem, dreams about moving to a villa in Tuscany. She loves history, mysteries, and romance of all flavors. She travels and gardens with her partner of 10 years, and their home overflows with books, cats, art, and red wine.

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Preorder links:

Dreamspinner Press

Kobo US

Barnes and Noble

Google Play

All Romance Ebooks

Tooting the horn for others

I don’t really have a lot to say today–in my work in progress I’ve reached 60,000 words, on a book that I originally thought would be about 80,000 words long. (Now I’m thinking it’ll be closer to 90k or so, at least). I never seem to write short books, ah well. But I’m happy with where things are going and the writers critique comments the book has received so far.

Meanwhile, I want to give some shout outs for my fellow workshop writers:

Available now!  Juicy Bits Anthology, featuring a historical short story by Heloise West. Renaissance Italy. Sculpting. And a mysterious stranger lying comatose in the garden.

Also check out “Love You Forever”  by Amelia Bishop! Contemporary romance with some characters making bad decisions.

Last, another short story in an anthology by Eva Lafoy, another of my lovely workshop writers! The anthology is entitled “Tentacles”–hmm, gee, I wonder what that could be about? 🙂   In “Solar Pioneer”, Eva takes on a science fiction favorite, the alien taking over the space station.




Book Review: The Haunted Heart: Winter, by Josh Lanyon


Book: The Haunted Heart: Winter

Author: Josh Lanyon

Genre: M/M, Horror

Heat Level:  Mild (one very sweet sex scene)

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This is actually the first of Josh’s books that I’ve read, and I found this to be an excellent choice. I understand this is the first book of what will be a four book series, and I’m eager to see where Mr. Lanyon takes this next. Flynn is a depressed, near suicidal young man living in his uncle’s old place in order to go through mountains of old antiques. He’s recovering from the death of his lover (an old trope, but a goodie) when he stumbles across a mirror with a ghost.

Flynn is grounded (sometimes literally) by his roommate Kurt, a bear of a man who is ex-military and speaks an entire language of grunts. It’s an interesting dynamic between the two of them which feels comfortable and yet tense at the same time. Naturally when the ghost shows up there is investigating to do. I found the plot drew me along at a nice pace with just enough intrigue to keep things interesting. The ending is exciting, but Mr. Lanyon has left plenty of room for more growth between the characters.

The language is clean throughout, the book is well-edited, and the story is engaging. This, ladies and gentlemen, is why you should support indie authors.

Book Review: Dirty Kiss


Book: Dirty Kiss

Author; Rhys Ford


Genre:  M/M Mystery

Rating: ***** (5 stars!)

I’m pretty stingy with stars. It takes a really good book to pull that rating from me–the book has to be well-edited, good characters, good plot, and a little something extra.

This book has it all.

The mystery plot was good, hinting me towards the perpetrator while keeping the danger and suspense high. I really liked the Korean flavor which filtered through everything. (Small surprise there, as I’m white and my partner is Japanese, so I know all about the whole cultural difference thing.)

And the sex? HOT.

I really liked the sexual tension between Jae and McGinnis, and how things came together for them. There were some achingly sweet scenes together with spitfire and tension.  I also liked how McGinnis struggled with his past.

Oh, and the opening scene of the book is a hoot. Pulled me right in.

So yes, lots of good things to say about this book. I’ll definitely be looking at more of what Rhys Ford has to offer.

Book Review: Among the Living (PsyCop #1)


Book:  Among the Living

Series: Psycop

Author: Jordan Castillo Price

Publisher: JCP Books

Genre: Paranormal Gay Mystery (with some romance)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

It’s kind of a no-brainer why I chose to read this book. I’m writing a Gay Romance/Mystery/Suspense novel with paranormal elements and ta da! That’s what this series is as well. So I wanted to see what was out there. This book came highly recommended, and I can see why. Jordan does a great job with the suspense and mystery aspects of the book, keeping things constantly moving along. It was downright creepy at the end, and I liked that. I also like how she weaves in the paranormal elements, with cops having psychic abilities including talking to spirits, truth-telling, and a cosmic Magic 8 ball ability.

I think the only thing that kept me from giving this five stars is that I didn’t really connect with any of the characters. While I liked the tone of the narrator’s voice, he keeps himself distant from everyone, and I think that kept me the reader a bit distant as well. There was sexual attraction between Vic and Marks (along with sex), but I didn’t really feel any kind of emotional connection between them. It left me wondering if Vic would be like a Sam Spade in the next book and find someone else. It wouldn’t surprise me if he did. (Yes, it felt that casual, and not romantic).

But other than that, I enjoyed it. I particularly liked the character of Lisa Gutierrez. The reader only gets occasional snapshots of her emotions, but it’s enough to paint a vivid picture of her. You can tell this woman has fought hard against the system, against sexism and racism and her background to get where she’s gotten. I hope to see more of her.

While I’ve been sampling different authors in the m/m genre, particularly dealing with mysteries or paranormal, most of the series I probably won’t go on to read more than one book. I think however that this one intrigued me enough to try Book 2.

That’s why it get 4 stars.

Titles are Such Trouble

So the writing is going well, overall. I’ve written about 17,500 words so far in the m/m novel, and about 1100 in a short gay erotic piece as well. I have ideas on the burner for my next Het Tale erotic short story, a lesbian story out making the rounds, and another plot bunny for a lesbian mystery novel.

I’m also trying to read a lot more, particularly in the m/m romance genre since I’ll be playing a lot in that field. I was dismayed to find that a friend of mine who also writes in this genre stole the title I’d come up with–well very nearly, anyway. I was going to have my first book called “Breaking and Entering” because it all starts with just that, as well as a murder. But I really like her book “Break and Enter.”

So what’s a writer to do?

I’m also having issues with the series name. One of my main characters is a bounty hunter, so currently I’m calling this “The Bounty Hunter Series.” But that’s not really what it’s about. They’ll be solving murders, my sadistic bounty hunter and an object reading psychic. Their powers label them as Oddities in this world.

So what should I call it?

The Oddities Series? An Odd Mystery? (hmm, I kinda like that one, actually.)  Or I could go to the old standby in mysteries of naming it for the characters. Derwin and Elliot. Or last name–Bryant and Leed.

I’m going to be asking for feedback from my crit group. Meanwhile, I think I’ll change the name of the first book to “Murder One.” Yes, it gives a little hint about the murder (that it’s premeditated) but I don’t keep that a secret for long, so I think I’m okay with it.

Anyone else have this trouble?