Milk and Cookies and Handcuffs by Erzabet Bishop, Alex Whitehall, Verity Blackthorn, Kathleen Tudor, Erik Moore and SL Armstrong


Title: Milk and Cookies and Handcuffs
Author: Multi-Authored Anthology
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Pages: 115
Characters: Multi-Characters
POV: 3rd, 1st
Sub-Genre: Contemporary, Holidays, Paranormals, Fantasy, Erotic Romance, Gay, Lesbian, M/F
Kisses: 4


Blurb:

Ah, the holidays. Gifts and songs. Tinsel and lights. Whips and chains? That’s right. This holiday anthology is all about BDSM, filled with characters who know that sometimes it’s Nice to be Naughty. This collection of five stories includes gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans*, and straight couples (and moresomes) that share a common desire for the kinkier side of sex: sensual bondage, sexual domination, and genuine, loving submission. And what better time to explore this dynamic of giving and receiving than the holidays? ‘Tis the season, after all!

In Holidays in Hell, Jonas is an incubus searching for one final soul to finish out his contract, but as a self-styled connoisseur, it has to be the right one. But when he finds the beautiful Holly Pendleton, Jonas is struck by her innocence and puts his own eternal comfort in jeopardy to protect her. Then, shapeshifting Ellis learns from his new master William about the traditions and true meaning of First Day, stories kept from him by his spiteful former master. The day of celebration becomes even sweeter when Ellis opens his presents and receives the Gift of the Familiar — and then has William try it out on him!

For New Year’s Eve, Ebet is afraid she’s Pushing the Line by bringing her girlfriend Meg home to meet her family for the first time. Meg is confident things will go fine, but Ebet is a mess, so Meg steals them away and proceeds to give Ebet something else to focus her energy on — her. Next, all that submissive Jeffrey wants from his mistress Athena is the Gift of Self, for Athena to recognize Jeffrey’s true identity as Jessie, a self-described “woman with a penis”. Athena is scared and confused at first; she loves her slave-boy, but isn’t sure that she can accept this a change this big. Finally, in The Sub’s Gift, the submissive Kyle gets an early Christmas present from Ryan and Amber, his Master and Mistress. But when that present turns out to be a sister-slave, Kyle wonders about his place in this new dynamic.

Review:

Holiday in Hell by Erzabet Bishop

Jonas is a starving lust demon who made a bad deal to collect souls with another demon named Baal. He is one soul short of being released from his contract, but Baal keeps interfering. Then Jonas meets Holly, a Christmas shop clerk, who stirs Jonas’s passion like never before. Can he devour her soul while having her pleasures?

A demon who loves the holidays? Who knew. Jonas is a surprisingly complex character for such a short story and for being an incubus. Holly is a widow and still holds much sorrow in her heart, but Jonas awakens dormant desires within her. But when the truth comes out about who he is and what he wants, she has to make a choice—to run for her life or to face the possibility that for Jonas it isn’t about harvesting a soul. This is a good story, with intriguing and sympathetic characters, a world of soul collecting monsters, an actual plot—though one that we don’t get into all that much—and some sexy dominance and submission under the Christmas tree. Not bad at all.

Gift of the Familiar by Alex Whitehall

Ellis is a snow leopard shapeshifter and a familiar to his magical master, William. Ellis’s former master was cruel, but William is loving and true. A celebration of First Day to honor the creation of the world and the bond between magical men and familiars is about to show Ellis that he can trust William in every way—including some sexy submission in bed.

The passion between Ellis and William is undeniable, tender, and oh so sweet. I liked these two a lot. Ellis is in for a learning curve, and William is prepared to show him everything he could ever desire. Unused to being given love, let alone gifts, Ellis wants to please his new master, and William provides the means. The holiday is a fascinating mythical setting, and there could definitely be more stories set in this fantastic world. And there’s a whopping amount of sex here for such a short tale. I liked this story.

Pushing the Line by Verity Blackthorn

Ebet is taking her girlfriend Meg back home to mountain country to meet her family for the first time. These people are racist, sexist, thorough jerks all around, but they’re family. Ebet is rattled to the extreme, so Meg gives her a whole bout of sex to distract her. And as a Dominatrix, Meg is not one to take things lying down, anyway.

Ebet is a frantic personality, and only submitting to Meg’s heavy hand of pain-pleasure keeps her calm and centered. There’s some interesting snow play here. Meg is a strong, fierce personality who is able to take what others throw at her, and still keep a smile on her face. I liked her a lot. There’s some cuddling and fingering by a bonfire, and then Meg really lets loose and describes in lurid detail of erotic imagery what she plans to with Ebet when they return home. That makes up for Ebet’s family being so judgmental. Not a bad story.

Gift of Self by Kathleen Tudor

Jeffrey is Athena’s loving submissive of many years—but then a personal revelation shakes Jeffrey to the core: He is a woman with a penis, a woman inside the body of a man. That explains why he has always loved cock-and-ball torture. The realization is painful, but he confesses to his Dominatrix, wishing to be called Jessie and to be a woman at home and treated as such. Athena’s confused reaction hurts Jeffrey a lot, and he foresees the end to their relationship if she can’t deal with this new “him”.

For a short story, this had amazing psychological depth. Jeffrey’s inner turmoil and shift toward a new self is shown in painstaking detail. With born again parents, he never really got the chance to explore who he is as everything was forcibly repressed. Only with Athena can he be himself. But now that he wishes to be a she instead, at least on the inside and in terms of what to wear, Jeffrey fears losing the only woman he loves. Athena is finely attuned to Jeffrey and appears as a loving partner. Having to come to terms with her sub having gender issues, Athena manages to show us what she’s made of. By far, this was the best, strongest story of the bunch. Highly recommended!

The Sub’s Gift by S.L. Armstrong & Erik Moore

Kyle has been the beloved submissive of Amber and Ryan for years. Though they have played with other subs in the past, only Kyle has remained. He’s had bad Dom experiences in the past, so when Amber and Ryan bring home for the holidays a gift for him—Kimber, a sister-slave—Kyle doesn’t know what to think. Is he being ousted by the new arrival?

Kyle has his insecurities, but Kimber is sweet, kind, and sexy. Amber and Ryan know Kyle intimately and have found him the perfect sister to complete their foursome relationship. I liked that all four people have distinct characters despite us getting the story only from Kyle’s perspective. Having been rejected before, Kyle is an insecure sub. Amber and Ryan are a couple, Amber a strong personality and Ryan the militaristic Dom. With her little girl behavior, Kimber pairs up with Kyle, showing him how wonderful their faux brother-sister bond can be. It’s Christmas and it’s also time for an orgy, and the presents are plentiful. I liked this story a lot. This is a wonderful conclusion to the anthology.

Reviewed By: Susan

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Welcome, S.L. Armstrong!!

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Thank you for taking some down time and spending it with us. Let痴 start this off with a beverage. We have coffee, tea, some sort of juice (I think it痴 been in here a few weeks), and soda. What would you like?

Tea. With cream and sugar. My favorite.

tea

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I’m thirty-three, live in the humid hell of Florida, and have nine cats and two dogs. I live in a small town with lots of green around us, so that’s nice, and I write, publish, and make jewelry for a living. I’ve been married almost sixteen years, and I have no children. I love to read, watch cooking shows, and bake.

When your first manuscript was published through Storm Moon Press, what was your initial thoughts?

Holy hell, people are reading my fiction. Paying to read my fiction. It took a couple of days for me to pick myself up off the floor and focus on my next manuscript.

What forces brought you over to the GLBT genre? Do you focus on one part of the QUILTBAG or do you write various identities, expressions, or orientations? What made you want to write what you do?

Let’s start with the last question first. I’ve always wanted to write. I’ve been reading since kindergarten. I advanced in my reading skills quickly, and once I’d plowed through a stack of books, I’d begin thinking about them. About the characters and stories. Then, my next step was to begin playing in those worlds. I began writing fanfiction when I was fourteen. I continued writing it for nearly a decade, and four of those years were spent writing yuri and slash fiction for various genres. I really don’t know what drew me into QUILTBAG reading and writing, but I loved it. I felt a kinship to the characters who were a lot like me, someone who was different. When I stepped out from writing fanfiction into professional fiction, it was completely natural for me to choose QUILTBAG avenues. I write all manner of QUILTBAG characters. No sexuality, identification, expression is off limits for me. I will admit, I do tend to favor bisexuality and polyamory mainly because I identify as both of those things.

Would you care for some cookies? We have chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal with or without raisins, and a package of mystery ones. We have cake, too. Your choice.

Cake. I am quite partial to angel food cake. Homemade. Mmm. Homemade angel food cake. I know what I’m making this weekend!

angel food cake

How many hours a day do you spending writing?

Usually, I try to write for four to six hours. Sometimes, it can be as many as twelve or as few as one. But it averages four to six.

Do you write right through or do you revise as you go along?

Write through. In fact, I don’t particularly like revising. My editors often want to smack me because when I finish a manuscript, it just feels finished to me, and I want to move on to the next project. I still do all the editing and revising, but I do it through the editing phase, not the writing one.

When it comes to plotting, do you write freely or plan everything in advance?

Plan. Oh, my God, plan everything. In detail. In a structured outline.

Of your characters, do you have a favorite and why?

That’s like asking a mother, ‘Which child do you love most?’ XD Some characters, though, are easier for me to write. Characters I’ve just clicked with. Dorian from our Immortal Symphony serial is one of them. Keegan from our World of Egaea series (unpublished at the moment) is another. I think the third character is Lorelei from our Polyfidelity novel (unpublished at the moment) since she is so like myself.

Writers often go on about writer痴 block. Do you ever suffer from it, and what measures do you take to get past it?

Oh, I suffer from it. Usually because of stress. I have to power through it and try to remove or face the source of stress that’s causing the block. I’m just now getting over a two-three month bout of it, in fact! I wrote 850 words today, and they were the first written since the end of April.

Do you have a particular spot in your house that you call your comfy zone? (The place where you write.)

I tend to write in my living room. I love my laptop, and it’s set up so I can sit comfortably and just write.

When you池e in the mindset to write, do you put a sign up that warns others not to disturb you while at work?

No. I stop periodically, chat with my co-author, bug my husband, cuddle a cat. I’m more productive that way.

How would you describe your sense of humor? Who and what makes you laugh?

Wry and dry and twisted. I love comedians like Kathy Griffin, Eddie Izzard, Lewis Black, and Kathleen Madigan. Sarcasm is my friend. 😉

What question is your most frequently asked as an author?

Hmm. That, I think, would be, “How does co-authoring work?” and “Where do you get all your ideas?”

What are you working on now?

The fifth episode of Immortal Symphony and the gay contemporary cowboy novel Lessons In Cowboy.

Writing is obviously not just how you make your living, but your lifestyle as well. What do you do to keep the creative “spark” alive, both in your work and out of it?

I engage in many kinds of art. Writing, singing, jewelry making, anything that lets me creatively express myself. Shifting around from art form to art form keeps everything new and interesting for me.

What kind of books do you like to read outside of the GLBT Genre?

Horror, fantasy, romance, young adult, and manga. Sometimes some sci-fi will make its way onto my reading list, or some literary fiction, but for the most part, I love horror and fantasy.

Pick one: Scientist, Astronaut, Retail, or Horse Trainer.

Horse trainer, hands down. I love horses. Have since I was a child. I’m impatiently waiting for the day I own enough land to have one of my own.

Aside from writing, what else do you enjoy doing?

Cooking. I love to cook and bake. It brings me great pleasure. I also like working with polymer clay. When I have the time, going for road trips is also a great time for me.

Any special projects from you at Storm Moon Press that came out recently or will be coming out soon we should watch for?

This winter, Lessons In Cowboy will be coming out. 😀 It’s been a long time coming, and I know there are readers who have read my Advent stuff from 2011 who are chomping at the bit for that novel. It’s coming this year!

Can you please tell us where we can find you on the Internet?

Website: http://www.slarmstrong.net/
Blog: http://slarmstrong.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/saundra.l.armstrong
Twitter: https://twitter.com/_slarmstrong
Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/KSCharms

It was a pleasure having you here with us today. Please come by and let us know how you池e doing from time to time. OH! And before you leave, can I get your help here in the kitchen? Thanks!

Thanks for inviting me over, and of course I’ll help clean up the kitchen! ;D

Making Ends Meet by SL Armstrong and K. Piet


Title: Making Ends Meet
Author: SL Armstrong and K. Piet
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Pages: 166
Characters: Zach Grayer, Wil Eastland
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
Kisses: 5



Blurb:

Includes 12 black-and-white illustrations by Diana Callinger!

Zach is just seventeen years old, but despite his youth, he has more than his fair share of responsibility. An experimental fling in high school has led him down the path of single fatherhood. Now, he holds down a job, takes his college classes online, and pays his own bills as best he can—all while juggling daycare and chores and play-dates for his four-month-old, Mae. It’s a rough, 24/7 life, but to Zach, Mae is worth every penny spent and every minute of his day.

With no free time to speak of, it feels like a miracle when Zach meets Wil in the check-out line at his work. Handsome, grounded, from the proverbial “right side of the tracks”, and—even better—good with kids, Wil is everything he could want in a boyfriend. But as interested as Wil is in Zach, he has his own life, his own family, his own job and college career to think about. All the various draws on their time means that it’s hard just to find chances to be together. But Zach’s no stranger to hard tasks, and believes he owes it to himself to try.

Review:

When it comes to writing amazing stories, SL Armstrong and K. Piet are definitely the dynamic duo of romance! I’ve loved every book and novella I’ve read written by them and I admit that they are one of those authors that are a must read for me. There aren’t afraid to tackle the sometimes difficult issues we all have as we go through life, and they write realistic heroes that I can identify with and I still would be honored to call a friend in my life too.

At seventeen, Zach has had to deal with a hard dose of reality. After a quick, experimental one night stand with a friend, he suddenly finds himself having full custody of his infant daughter, Mae. Although most teenagers would try to push this responsibility onto others, Zach is determined to work hard and support Mae on his own. He put his own dreams and ambitions on hold, so he can be a good father and does his best to support them without having to heavily rely on others to help him. Zach is also aware that having Mae has put a huge damper on finding someone who is willing to date a teenager with a child that they support, so he’s not expecting to fall in love. Instead, he concentrates on Mae and making the best life he can for her.

One night while working as a cashier at the local store, a handsome young man flirts with him and to Zach’s surprise, leaves him his number. The young man’s name is Wil, and even when Wil finds out that Zach has a baby, it doesn’t bother him at all. Instead, Wil steps up to the plate and starts to see Zach while becoming a big part of both Zach and Mae’s lives. As their relationship grows, Zach becomes more and more reliant on Wil on both an emotional and financial level. This bothers Zach because he doesn’t wish for Wil or anyone to think he’s not able to raise Mae on his own, without heavily relying on others. When Wil’s parents disapprove of their relationship, and Zach finds out that not only do they not approve of them being together, they also insist on Wil breaking it off with him, Zach is once again faced with the hard decision of doing what he thinks is the right thing. Will Zach and Wil’s relationship be strong enough to work through all of the obstacles that seem to be trying to pull them apart?

I LOVED this book! I honestly can’t rave enough about it. I thought Zach was an amazing young man who has a huge capacity to love while still working hard at being a good father to Mae, made him one of my favorite heroes. Zach is young, but the situation he’s in makes him grow up very quickly, so he’s more mature than other young men his age. I loved watching him continue to grow and evolve as a person and really liked the man he is starting to become.

Wil is another hero that I adored. I loved his willingness to love and accept Zach and Mae into his life as well as his drive to still be his own man, while he fights to keep his lover and Mae as part of his future. He’s honest and has a giving, beautiful heart and I thought he was perfect for Zach and Mae. I loved the way Wil and Zach’s relationship slow developed as the story progressed and honestly think the pacing of the book was perfection.

One thing I really appreciated about this book was how both authors did not sweep how challenging and difficult it can be to raise a child. Zach truly struggles, both emotionally and financially and he second-guesses himself when it comes to doing the right thing for both him and Mae. I thought this was a very realistically written story, and I absolutely loved every moment I spent reading it.

I also would like to point out that Making Ends Meet has some gorgeous illustrations throughout the book. I thought the artist did an outstanding job at capturing the essence of the story and the characters themselves. In my opinion, I thought the illustrations made the book even more enjoyable, and I hope that there will be more of these types of books in the future. Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

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Immortal Symphony: Overture – Episode 1: A Meeting of Fate by K. Piet and SL Armstrong


Title: Immortal Symphony: Overture – Episode 1: A Meeting of Fate
Author: SL Armstrong, K. Piet
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Pages: 39
Characters: Dorian Gray, Gabriel Lawrence
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: BDSM, Bisexual, Urban Fantasy, Dark Themes, Ghosts, M/M, M/M/F, Ghosts, Violence, Abuse Themes
Kisses: 4


Blurb:

You think you know the story of Dorian Gray, but you’re wrong. The real story didn’t end the way Oscar Wilde penned; in fact, it hasn’t ended at all. The ageless beauty of Dorian Gray walks now in our world of cellphones and lattes and internet porn. His latest conquest is Gabriel Lawrence, a paranormal investigator with a secret or two of his own. But the trouble with a life as long as Dorian’s is that the skeletons are threatening to overrun the closet… and not all of them want to stay dead.

Season 1: Overture introduces Gabriel to the truth of a world he had only suspected, where ghost hunting is the least of his worries. And at the heart of it all is the mysterious and fascinating Dorian Gray, as though he’d stepped out of the pages of the book bearing his name. But if he has, he hasn’t come through alone. And this figure from a past Dorian had though long behind him bears a grudge nurtured for a hundred years and intends to tear down everything Dorian has built, a piece at a time.

Review:

When I was told that Storm Moon Press was doing a monthly serial, I was immediately excited about the news! I was even more excited when I found out the writing team of SL Armstrong and K. Piet were contributing to it. I’m a huge fan of these two authors and have enjoyed everything I’ve read by them.

One of the things I appreciate about both Storm Moon Press and their authors is how they aren’t afraid to push the envelope when it comes to their books. Each and every story really resonates with me as a reader, even when I might be taken out of my comfort zone, I still enjoy them because of their originality and character driven romances.

The blurb does an excellent job at describing the gist of the book. Dorian Grey is exactly the way he’s always been portrayed. He’s handsome and spoiled at getting what he wants, and has a wicked and irresistible sexuality that draws others into his erotic life. The thing is, there is definitely more to Dorian than meets the eye. He’s not what people assume he is. (You’ll have to read it and find out)

Once he meets Gabriel for some reason Dorian begins to take notice of him. When it comes to lovers, Dorian has a revolving door and rarely remembers them, much less become intrigued by them. He finds himself uncharacteristically wanting to be around Gabriel, but what he doesn’t realize is that Gabriel has some secrets of his own.

Loved this first installment of this serial! It definitely begins and ends with a bang and I can’t wait to read what this amazing writing team has in store for us next!

Sexy, erotic and a whole lot of romping fun, Immortal Symphony promises to be nothing but a guilty pleasure to read. If you are looking for something unique with characters who will automatically fascinate you, then this serial will definitely be for you! Highly Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

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Devil’s Night by SL Armstrong, K Piet, Alina Ray, Azalea Moone, Tali Spencer


Title: Devil’s Night: Storm Moon Press Anthology
Authors: SL Armstrong, K. Piet, Alina Ray, Azalea Moone, Tali Spencer
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Pages: 102
Characters: Various
POV: 3rd
Sub genre: Demons, Dub Consent, Paranormal, Torture, Violence, Dark Themes
Kisses: 5



Blurb:

The infernal host is on the prowl. They want your soul, and they’re not afraid to bargain for it. They’ll promise you everything you could ever desire, but the price tag may be steeper than you can handle. Whether tempting and seducing mortals, defiling angels, or reveling among themselves, the fiendish creatures in these four haunting tales know that while good is okay, evil is just more fun.

Thaddeus sold his soul to save his family long ago, but the deal he struck with the demon Belial has him spending eternity managing Le Carnaval du Diable, filled to the brim with other’s damned into servitude. Belial wants more than Thaddeus’ soul, though, and his constant advances only add to Thaddeus’ stress as he faces a threat to The Devil’s Midway.

Craig Peters finds himself Hell Bound and destined for an eternity of torture at the hands of the demon Karawan, despite having no memory of the sin that condemned him to this existence. Over time, though, those memories return, along with an unnatural attraction to Karawan, which leads them both down a path neither of them could have possibly imagined.

When the Hounds Come Out to Play, Ryu and Keir are released from their chains to hunt the wayward damned and drag them down to Hell. A breath of freedom is an opportunity for fun, however, and Ryu isn’t about to waste it, even if it means getting caught in a case of mistaken identity with a handsome stranger.

Finally, Beltran is a man of heritage and honor, and when his cousin is brutalized, he has few qualms about consulting a local Inca shaman on her behalf. Little does he know the price of the charm he seeks will make him The Seventh Sacrifice in the amaru demon Kitara’s ancient quest for revenge.

Review:

Demons, devils, and other dark creatures prowl the night. They’re looking for souls to take and they’re willing to make a bargain. They’ll promise you everything you could ever desire but the cost might be more than you can handle. Whether tempting or seducing mortals, defiling angels, or just partying among themselves, they know that while good is better, evil is plain FUN!

Devil’s Night is an anthology from authors who display their talents in these four tales of what happens when the dark side goes looking for lost souls or wanting to make a deal to acquire innocent ones. The characters in these stories are not anything like what you would normally expect and the unique and original twists make these stories a delightfully different read that I really, really enjoyed reading.

The Devil’s Midway by S.L.Armstrong and K. Piet

Thaddeus sold his soul a long time ago to the demon Belial in order to save his family. The deal he made has him managing Le Carnaval du Diable, full of other damned souls cursed to servitude for all eternity. He’s constantly having to deal with the stress of following Belial’s orders on where the next stop is to be, the constant fighting among the performers, and the occasional demon hunter. On top of everything else, he has to contend with Belial wanting more from him than just his soul. The constant battle he fights against the demon’s advances and his own desires make his job that much harder as he deals with a threat to the very existence of thwarted carnival itself.

Spellbound by Alina Ray

Craig Peters wakes up in Hell with no idea why or how he got there. Sentenced to an eternity of torture at the hands of the demon Karawan. He has no memory of the sin that condemned him but finds himself strangely attracted to Karawan, as over time his memory gradually returns. When offered rhetoric chance to go to heaven if he feels remorse for his sin, he turns it down so he can spend eternity with the demon he has come to love.

When the Hellhounds Come Out to Play by Azalea Moone

Keir and Ryu are two hellhounds released from their chains on one night of the year on Halloween to hunt down damned souls and drag them to hell. Ryu takes advantage odd that freedom to shift into human form and enjoy himself while he can. He meets a handsome stranger who mistakes him foe someone else and they go to a Halloween party. Ryu finds himself attracted to the handsome young man and they have a night of wild sex. Just before dawn, as he is getting ready to return to hell, he realizes that the man is the soul that he has been sent to take to hell because he murdered someone.

The Seventh Sacrifice by Tali Spencer

Beltran is a man of honor and when his cousin is attacked and brutalized by a former lover, he has no qualms about going to a local Incan shaman on her behalf to seek revenge on the man who attacked her. He doesn’t realize that the price of the charm will make him the seventh and final sacrifice needed to finish the ancient amaru demon Kitara’s quest for revenge.

I really enjoyed these four tales that are anything but ordinary. The authors are able to breathe new life into the old standby of evil is bad and give them original and unique twists and turns that keep you guessing until the very end!

Reviewed by Pat

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Jungle Law by K. Piet and S.L. Armstrong

Title: Jungle Law
Author: K. Piet, S.L. Armstrong
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Pages: 27
Characters: Deshi, Kaanan
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Paranormal Romance
Kisses: 5




Blurb:

There is a rainforest in India that the wise poachers avoid. Few who venture in ever return, and those that do rarely come back all the way. The leopards in this forest have a protector who walks the worlds between leopard and man, but who calls the leopard kin and the human only enemy. When a frightened boy escapes from the latest hunting party to feel the protector’s wrath, he tracks the boy down, determined to leave no survivors. But when he comes fact-to-face with the exotic, defenseless boy, he cannot bring himself to end that life. Instead, what he has reviled for years becomes his constant companion. That is, until the humans dare to set foot in his forest once more.

Review:

I am a shameless fan of K. Piet and S.L. Armstrong. They are one of my favorite writing teams and I always look forward to reading more books written by them. When I saw this short story up for review, I immediately grabbed it because I know whatever these two authors write, I will most likely love. Sure enough, Jungle Law was a creative and interesting story about a leopard shape-shifter and the young man he saves.

Kaanan is a leopard shape-shifter who does what he can to protect his fellow peers from the horror of human destruction. Because he’s watched many of his kind hunted down and murdered again and again, he’s not a fan of the human race and prefers to live as a leopard than his human counterpart. When he spots a helpless, young man fleeing from a hunting party he surprisingly feels compelled to help man. Soon, he rescues the man, Deshi, and for the life of him, Kaanan can’t understand why he’s so drawn to him. As they start to communicate, there is a burning attraction and emotional connection that sizzles between them. But, Kaanan doesn’t believe that the sweetly innocent Deshi can survive in his harsh world and vows to return him safely home. Will Deshi be able to convince Kaanan to stay together?

I loved this short story! My only gripe is that it is so short and just when I really began to get into it the story was over. I really appreciated the fresh spin these authors gave on the typical shape-shifter story and loved the way the relationship developed between the two characters. For such a short story, it reads as a longer one and is very fast-paced and uniquely told. I hated to see this story come to an end and pray that one day the authors will one day continue writing about these likeable, noble characters.

Since this book is a free read under the ‘Love is Always Write’ series the awesome M/M Romance Group is hosting at the Goodreads site.

Reviewed By: Gabbi

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Other Side of Night: Bastian & Riley by S.L. Armstrong and K. Piet


Title: Other Side of Night: Bastian & Riley
Author: S.L. Armstrong and K. Piet
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Pages: 89 (.PDF)
Characters: Riley Lynch, Sebastian Rossi
POV: 3rd Person
Sub-Genre: Paranormal Romance
Kisses: 4.5




Blurb:

Vampires walk among us. For centuries, they have adapted, learning to pass undetected in our world. They no longer fear the day, only the sting of direct sunlight. They are students, bankers, lawyers, and even actors. But when the sun goes down, they are all united by their eternal thirst. We do not see them from our safe and comfortable side of the night. But sometimes, one of us is drawn away from the light and we cross into their world. Into the other side of night.

Sebastian Rossi’s second year at the University of Tennessee began much differently than his first. He rushes to and from his classes, covered head to toe in thick clothing. Parties are a thing of the past, and dating hasn’t been high on his list of priorities. No, high on his needs is blood. Lots of it. Adjusting to the changes no one even told him would happen following one great night of partying and sex has been hell for Bastian, but he’s managing.

Riley Lynch’s dream is to be a veterinarian. He works hard to pay his tuition, reads in every spare moment, and tries to forget the nightmare of his sophomore year. Summer has washed away all the bad, leaving him refreshed and eager for his junior year at UT. Life is finally looking up for him, and he has no intention of sliding back down into the depression that had consumed him during his last relationship.

A chance meeting brings their two worlds into alignment and passion sparks between them. When Riley learns of the changes Bastian is going through, he has a choice to make: walk away or embrace the night.

Review:

Cliffhangers—don’t you love ‘em? Or hate ‘em? Or love hating them…hate loving them? Whichever it is, prepare yourself because Other Side of Night: Bastian and Riley ends with a doozy.

Bastian Rossi was the consummate party boy, drifting aimlessly between one night stands, until he attended one frat party too many and hooked up with the wrong guy, an event that set in motion a transformation which would serve to change his life forever and leave him alone to cope with the ramifications of the nameless sexual encounter—a sudden sensitivity to sunlight and a craving for blood a clear indication that the guy who’d savaged Bastian was far from human.

Riley Lynch is just beginning a new school year at the University of Tennessee, having transferred to Knoxville to escape the horrors of an abusive relationship. Riley has worked hard to fulfill his dream of becoming a veterinarian, and has worked equally hard to put the past behind him, though his ex has left him with the sort of internal scars that make him wary and unable to trust easily.

When Bastian and Riley meet, they make a connection that’s undeniably based in their mutual attraction, but could also be explained by the fact they’ve both been horribly wronged. Although Bastian’s secret is one of such epically unbelievable proportions he has a difficult enough time coping with it himself, let alone sharing it with Riley. They’ve both suffered at the hands of someone who’d stripped them of their right to free will, but Bastian’s pain is also entirely complicated by both his evolution into something other than human, and the fact it was his own choices that brought him to this end

Theirs becomes a story of what it means to trust, and where that mutual trust can lead. But this is also a story of mutual need, a need that for Riley borders on obsession once Bastian succumbs to the need to feed from his lover, no longer able to subsist on the animal blood he’d attempted to satisfy himself with for so long. A primal and potentially dangerous need to sustain Bastian builds within Riley. When Bastian attempts to gain control of the situation, it entirely derails Riley and brings about a dire situation that will twist the course of their relationship and, once again, strips Riley of his freedom of choice, though this time the decision is based in love. Bastian’s need to save Riley sends him on a mission to find those of his own kind, to seek answers, some of which he might not like but will leave him with no other options if he wants to save the man he loves.

Do the circumstances warrant the outcome? Not for Riley, who feels the sting of Bastian’s betrayal and the bitter loss of his ability to determine his own future, to the point he is willing to sacrifice his own life to prove that Bastian will never control him.

S.L. Armstrong and K. Piet have introduced a contemporary world where humans live, work, and befriend vampires, never the wiser they might be a hairsbreadth away from becoming a predator’s next snack.

And that cliffhanger? Oh yeah, Other Side of Night promises there’s more to come in Bastian and Riley’s world—a friend who’s been keeping a secret of her own, and a vampire mistress who figures pretty prominently in all of it. I’m looking forward to see what’s coming next.

Reviewed By: Lisa

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Wild Passions – Anthology – Edited by S.L. Armstrong


Title: Wild Passions
Author: Anthology – Edited by S.L. Armstrong
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Pages: 195
Characters: Various
POV: 1st and 3rd Person
Setting: Alternate Reality
Sub-Genre: Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Cover Rating: 4
Kisses: 4.5 Overall




Blurb:

Other worlds, other planes of existence, other places where humans are not the only type of creature to walk and talk. Human-like animals populate the pages of Wild Passions! These are not shifters, but humanoid animals that experience love and lust in their sometimes wild, sometimes civilized worlds.

Meet Liam, a half-fox in a world where ‘urban jungle’ isn’t a metaphor. When trouble comes in the form of an organized militia looking to experiment, Liam must put his trust where he never expected—in the hands of a human.

Koit is a Shterpi, a reptilian alien with a reputation for womanizing. A dare from a friend has Koit changing his target to other men, and he finds that variety really is the spice of life.

Alec and Nahale are feral-Maith, genetic offshoots from a fantastic race. Under pressure, Alec challenges Nahale for leadership of their clan, threatening to destroy the relationship they’d been building for years.

Panos only wants to live a normal life, free from the secret that’s kept him isolated from others. However, he still needs a roommate, and his attraction to the other man has him wondering if opening up might not be so bad after all.

Ferran is making his last trip away from his home planet of Perelan before duty calls him back. But a rakish spaceship captain tosses a wrench into his finely crafted plans, and his world may never be the same.

Gordon and Arthur work in the freak-show at a traveling carnival, wowing audiences with their half-animal physiques. But when animal constructs are second-class citizens and legal property of others, falling in love is the most dangerous act of all.

Review:

Fans of Sci-Fi/Fantasy will find plenty to love about Wild Passions, a terrific collection of short stories that detail the lives and loves of parahuman and alien characters, who each find desire and attraction is far more than what is seen on the surface.

Beneath the fur, scales, and quills beat the hearts of very human men who find a common bond in spite of differences, find love in spite of the obstacle of their species, form a connection in spite of the seemingly insurmountable odds against them. Each of these stories is particularly creative and brought to life by characters who will seduce you into believing they exist somewhere in the universe.

From the action packed adventure City of Foxes by Cornelia Grey to Angelia Sparrow’s heart-achingly poignant pre-WW II story Songs for Guitar and French Harp to the celestial beauty of Opening Worlds by Cari Z, each of these outstanding tales delivers on every level and will make you believe that love can overcome anything life, fate, or misfortune can throw in the way.

From Elizabeth Hyder’s tale of truth and dare in Trust Me to the power play of Alpha’s Pride by S.L. Armstrong and K. Piet to Wayne Mansfield’s aquatic romance I Do Like to be Beside the Seaside, the reader is treated to a seductive and sensual journey through the complications of self-discovery, sacrifice, trust, and happy endings.

Wild Passions is a feast for the imagination and a treat for lovers of true romance.

Reviewed By: Lisa

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Rachmaninoff S.L. Armstrong & K. Piet


Title: Rachmaninoff
Author: S.L. Armstrong, K. Piet
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Pages: 256
Characters: Nicola Jovanović, Aric Reynolds
POV: 3rd person
Setting: Novi Sad, Serbia
Sub-Genre: Paranormal
Cover Rating: 4
Kisses: 4





Blurb:

Nineteen-year-old Aric Reynolds has spent most of his life in boarding schools, summer camps, or on tour as a prodigy with the piano. His wealthy parents have never had time for him, and after a failed year at college, they have decided on a final course of action. Aric is brought to Nikola Jovanović's beautiful, sprawling manor in Serbia.
Nikola is known the world around as a master in music, unsurpassed by any, but terribly reclusive. For one year, Aric is to be his student, but in the modern day, it is easy for Aric to learn Nikola's secrets. With a dark shadow lurking from Nikola's past and Aric's stubborn, promiscuous nature, the sexual tension between the pair simply explodes, and Aric's very mortal life is held in the balance.

Review:

I confess to knowing absolutely nothing about composer Sergei Rachmaninoff’s music, other than it was his Concerto No. 3 that sent David Helfgott over the brink of mental exhaustion in the film Shine. Helfgott’s performance of the piece was unforgettable, primarily because of the complexity of the music. Harmonies, melodies, each note seeming to layer one sound atop the other: full, rich, and lush; dark, demanding, and evocative.

Rachmaninoff was a child prodigy born to a wealthy family, an extraordinarily talented pianist, but by some accounts, also said to have been a bit of a problem child who moved away from his family to study music under Nikolai Zverev. Failing most of his classes, Rachmaninoff did come to learn strict discipline in the Zverev home, a discipline that honed his skills as an artist.

Nineteen-year-old Aric Reynolds shares both his talent and his temperament with the composer in S.L. Armstrong and K. Piet’s Rachmaninoff, a contemporary paranormal romance set in a remote village in Serbia, where the mysterious and talented musical maestro Nikola Jovanović is hired to tutor the gifted young man.

The relationship between the stubborn, impetuous teenager and his staid and strict mentor is, at best, adversarial. Nikola’s old-fashioned ideals clash severely with Aric’s loose principals and low self-esteem. Like the ascending and descending harmonies of Rachmaninoff’s pieces, the connection between Nikola and Aric resonates in layers of discord and accord when the two clash over Aric’s promiscuity, then finally realize that it is their common bond as the unaccepted and unwanted that connects them.

The two men, teacher and student, instruct each other in the art of intimacy, each learning that physical communication can mean different things, desire can be satisfied in different ways. The path to their happiness is filled with difficulties and miscommunications, complicated by the centuries of experience that separates them.

“If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they’re yours; if they don’t they never were.” It is a sacrifice that Nikola makes to allow Aric the chance to grow, to find himself and to experience life on his own. It is a decision that separates them for two years, years in which Aric becomes his own man, apart from his identity as Nikola’s student and lover. But when Nikola asks Aric to come home to Serbia, Aric returns to the vampire he loves and must choose whether to remain mortal or to end his life to spend eternity with Nikola, though Aric’s death and rebirth just might spell the end of their relationship.

Rachmaninoff’s music was known for its emotional content, its passionate themes, its demanding rhythms. The same might be said for Rachmaninoff, the novel. Nikola and Aric relate to each other passionately, their feelings resonating throughout the narrative, from moderato to a crescendo of anger, despair, and love. The relationship between Nikola and his much younger lover is frenzied at times, while at others, its cadence is a sweet, slow harmony—an overall lovely interlude.

Reviewed By: Lisa

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Oneiros by S.L. Armstrong


Title: Oneiros
Author: S.L. Armstrong
Publisher: Storm Moon Press
Pages: 23
Characters: Caleb Hollander, Scott Dayton, Morpheus
POV: 3rd person
Setting: Contemporary
Sub-Genre: Fantasy
Cover Rating: 3
Kisses: 4



Blurb:

Caleb is fleeing from the realities of his life, hiding in a dream of the Moon. The God of Dreams finds him there and draws Caleb deeper into the night with promises of passion and closeness otherwise denied to him. But in the waking world, a chance for something real forces Caleb to choose between love and immortality.

(This short story was originally published in the “Cast the Cards” anthology.)

Review:

Morpheus, the god of dreams, the eldest and the leader of the triplets known as the Oneroi, said to be the sons of Nyx (Night) and Hypnos (Sleep). Morpheus has the ability to enter dreams and take any human form, controlling nightmares, seducing fantasies within the subconscious realm of slumber.

For Caleb Hollander, life itself has become the stuff of nightmares. Alone by choice and circumstance, incredibly lonely as a result, his life has become the reality from which he longs to escape, and he does so, finding comfort wrapped in the arms of sleep and illusion.

Morpheus enters Caleb’s dreams, gifting him with the one thing he so greatly desires but cannot have—close, physical contact with another man. As Caleb’s waking life becomes less appealing, the otherworldly perfection of his dreams calls to him; Morpheus becomes ever greedier in his demand for Caleb’s attention, until Caleb’s reality all but disappears.

Scott Dayton, a friend with more than a bit in common with Caleb, a friend who wants to be so much more, must compete with the jealous god of dreams for Caleb’s love. Scott’s ability to compete with a fantasy hinges on convincing Caleb that life is well worth the effort.

Oneiros is a fantastic short story for fans of mythology—and even for those who aren’t so much fans of the legends of the Olympic pantheon. The Greek and Roman gods were avaricious, seeking worship and attention, often manipulating mortals like puppets who were powerless against their strength and seductive forces.

S.L. Armstrong has written a lovely tale of faith, loyalty, love, and acceptance. It’s a story of hope and courage and, in the end, of the belief in the power of friendship and romance.

Reviewed By: Lisa

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