The Half of Us by Cardeno C. [Review]


The Half of Us by Cardeno C.



A true bookworm will always be in the pursuit of a great book. That one book you either hold with you bare hands (and smell to make sure it’s 100% recycled material) or simply download to your e reader and stare at the cover in true colors over and over again until you go color blind.

One of my life’s greatest philosophies is to give a book the benefit of the doubt (Unless the cover is a bad compilation of photoshopped images) but still, it may hold interesting stories that you somehow could miss if you don’t give it a try.

So I, the bookworm, decided one day to go searching for that one genre that would hold my attention above all others. I hate angst reads. I hate stupid heroes. I hate macho dominant heroes I hate cheaters. I hate ridiculous characters that somehow turn smart and save the day.
Searching for that one genre I could dive into completely blind and have a blast while swimming, I found gay romance a.k.a in the book world as M/M.

In my eternal search for love and happy ever afters, I found Cardeno C.

And while I was checking out Cardeno C’s work, I came across the Family Series.

This particular review of ‘The Half of Us’ reminds me of a sweet boy I met once, who knew since the age of twelve that he was gay. He grew up to be a teacher at a very important university and while attending a seminar in Mexico City, he met the love of his life, a doctor. They both live together and although gay marriage is not legal where they live, they have achieved the ultimate goal of every couple: they became a FAMILY.

Jason and Abe’s story doesn’t fall far from the tree. Jason’s first attempt at happiness actually happened with a woman in his youth while he was still trying to figure out his own sexuality; Abe on the other hand always knew he was gay, but he needed to move from his ultra conservative home state of Utah in order to feel freedom and find love. Yes, right, LOVE, not a one night stand. Jason though is very addicted to one night stands.

In what would be considered a literal heartbeat Jason and Abe meet, agree to spend the night together and somehow, Abe plants the curiosity seed in Jason, who leaves that night wondering the ‘what if’s’. He soon becomes aware he is completely spellbound by the sweet guy he met who although is way younger than him, captivates his heart in a way nobody else has been able to.

This is a love story through and through, and yes, it is VERY believable and very down to earth. What I love most about Cardeno C’s books is just the fact that the ultimate goal is just that: LOVE. The greatest part about these character is that both of them are very family oriented people. Jason has kids and Abe is not shy when it comes to interacting with them and that makes the heartfelt storyline easy to follow and very realistic.

I could go on all day talking about how fabulous this story is, but one thing is just plain visible: LOVE IS LOVE. FAMILY IS FAMILY and there are ties and bonds that are impossible to break.

Book Suburbia gives this a 4 Bookie rating


***ARC copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review

[Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Dissonance by Shira Anthony]



Thanks, Sophie, for hosting the Dissonance cover reveal! There’s nothing quite as fun as showing off a brand-spanking-new book cover. Even better when it does a perfect job of capturing the feeling of the story. Dissonance, the latest installment in the Blue Notes Series from Dreamspinner Press, may be one of the angstiest of all the Blue Notes books. It’s a story of betrayal, heartbreak, and rising above your past to find hope in the future.

British noble Cam Sherrington puts on a good show, pretending he isn’t still grieving the end of his relationship with opera singer Aiden Lind. Of course, Cam has nothing to complain about, since he singlehandedly destroyed that relationship by cheating on Aiden again and again. Nobody likes a cheater, especially the cheater himself. Cam doesn’t know why he cheats, but he knows he’s a worthless piece of garbage. And it’s not as though anyone disagrees with him, either, if his mother and uncle are any indication.

Then Aiden calls to let him know he’s marrying his partner, attorney Sam Ryan. On Cam’s thirtieth birthday. And that’s just the beginning…. Before Cam can figure out what hit him, the rest of his life is in a shambles. Then the dreams start. Dark, frightening dreams. But if they’re only dreams, why do they seem so real?

Trumpet player Galen Rusk plays for tips in the 42nd Street Station in Manhattan, and he’s noticed Cam. When Cam stops to listen to Galen’s music, Galen takes a chance and tries to talk to him. But Galen’s music remains the only connection between them until Cam ends up sleeping on a cold subway bench. Then it’s Galen’s turn to pay forward the shoulder someone gave him ten years before.

Dissonance deals with some dark themes, but the message of the story is an upbeat one about learning to love yourself and finding your inner strength. By the end of writing the story, Cam totally won me over. I hope he’ll win you over too!

You can pre-order Dissonance on the Dreamspinner Press website now. And while you’re at it, be sure to enterthe pre-release contest I’m running. You could win a cool Blue Notes Series swag bag filled with paperback books of the first 5 novels in the series (or e-book copies if you live outside the US).


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 And now, I’ll leave you with the blurb and an excerpt from Dissonance. I hope you enjoy it! –Shira





British lord Cameron Sherrington has hit rock bottom. The love of his life, opera sensation Aiden Lind, is marrying another man, and Cam knows it’s his own fault for pushing Aiden away. Then someone tries to set him up and take away his family business. Facing arrest by US authorities on charges of money laundering and with no money to return to London, Cam decides to run. But with no money and no place to stay, it’s not exactly the Hollywood thriller he’d imagined.

When Cam hears Galen Rusk play in a lonely subway station, he’s intrigued. But his assumptions about Galen are all wrong, and their unusual relationship isn’t exactly what Cam bargained for. Add to that the nightmares that dog him nightly, and Cam’s world is shaken to its core. Cam figures he had it coming to him, that it’s all penance due on a life lived without honesty. He just never figured he might not be able to survive it.

Buy Blue Notes Series books on Dreamspinner Press, Amazon,Barnes & Noble, and AllRomanceEbooks



Cam cursed his love for Aiden as he wobbled down the concrete steps to the 42nd Street subway station. Riley had looked at him as if he were mad when he’d told her he was headed home. “Did I do something wrong?” she asked with the same pouty expression she wore on the rare occasion when her father refused to buy her something.”Nothing,” he said as he’d reached for the doorknob. “I’m done. That’s all.” “At least let me call my driver to take—”

He’d refused. Seriously, did she think he wasn’t capable of taking a fucking subway after a few drinks at a party? It wasn’t even midnight.

He rubbed an eye with the heel of his hand. The damn telephone conversation replayed in his mind and grated on his nerves like Muzak at a cheap restaurant. He’d tried not to sound eager. Tried to sound nonchalant. He’d gotten good at that over the years. And then the brutal words had come. They’d seared his heart and left him dizzy. “Listen, Cam…. I need to tell you something. I don’t want you to hear it from the press…. Sam asked me to marry him, and I said yes.”
He needed to walk. He needed to clear his head. He needed to shout to the heavens and hit something.

Why in hell had he bothered to look at the phone? Easy: he’d prayed it was Aiden calling to tell him he wanted him back.

You’re a fucking loser, Cameron! Nobody wants you!
A memory stirred. Someone holding him. Ruffling his hair. Someone other than his father. Someone had wanted him. Cared for him.

Where the hell had that come from? He brushed it off and descended the steps to the Lexington Avenue train.

It was bad enough that Aiden thought he’d tried to sabotage his career. He did everything to make sure Aiden didn’t think he wasn’t interested anymore. He’d gone to the after-party following Aiden’s Met debut—of course he’d gone, his company had helped bankroll the production of Don Giovanni—and Aiden had been MIA. So he’d decided Aiden didn’t need to know he’d been there at all.

And then the phone call. Aiden hadn’t beaten around the proverbial bush. He’d said it. Honestly. Simply. Just the way Cam would have expected Aiden to say it. And suddenly Cam didn’t care if he fucked that hot little Broadway-bound arse. He no longer cared about the party or its hallowed attendees. He no longer cared about anything except the gaping, jagged hole the conversation had left in his heart. And now, fucking New York pigeons were setting up camp in the hole. Shitting in it.

He walked from the Lexington Avenue train toward to the S train platform. The achingly mournful sound of a trumpet echoed off the dirty tile walls. He hadn’t really noticed them before. The intricate mosaic artwork had probably taken weeks to complete. Decades before, it had probably been stunning, but now it was covered in a film of grayish-black soot and some of the tiles were missing.

How fitting. He looked around for the source of the music, noting the powerful smell of urine. Away from the turnstiles, a mound of blankets and a refuse-filled shopping cart occupied the far corner of the station. He guessed there was a human being under there, although he was hardly going to look. Beyond the automatic ticketing machines, he could just make out the form of a man holding a trumpet. The same man he’d seen playing at lunch. Maybe he lived in the subway. Cam had heard stories of actors and musicians unable to get work in New York living on the street.

“Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone….”
Cam walked across the empty space between the train platforms, his feet making soft tapping sounds against the concrete. He paused for a moment to watch the trumpet player standing with his back to the wall. He stared into whatever space musicians liked to stare into—that ethereal place they went when they were so focused on the music that the world around them disappeared. A dusty blond curl fell from the shaggy mop of hair onto the trumpeter’s face as he finished another phrase. “… and she’s always gone too long any time she goes away.”

Cam drew a long breath. It was perfect. The angst of it all. The music. The echo of his steps. The blast of cool air as he neared the train tunnels. Fucking perfect.

The musician noticed him standing there. The man’s eyes were a beautiful hazel, almost green. Why hadn’t he noticed before?

What do you care? The man’s an unemployed musician.

The guy looked at him and his eyes widened almost imperceptibly, as they had the last time Cam had seen him. Did he recognize Cam? God knew there were enough articles written about him. Esquire, Elle, Cigars Magazine, blah, blah, blah. Glamour’s “Most Eligible Bachelor” from 2008. As if!

The trumpet player finished the song, then stopped for a moment and rested the trumpet against his hip. His lips were swollen and pink from playing. For a split second, Cam imagined tasting them. Then he noticed the torn jeans and white T-shirt with a faded Señor Frog’s logo and the words “I got wasted in Cancun” written below it.

Oh, for God’s sake, Cameron! He’s a loser with a capital L!
Well, that made two of them, didn’t it? Even if the guy could play pretty damn well—very well, judging by the little Cam had heard—they were both in a stinking, empty subway station on a Friday night at midnight. Poor sod.

“Another request?” A smile danced on the man’s kissable lips.

Prelude by Shira Anthony & Venona Keyes [Review]



Book Suburbia gives 4 1/2 Bookies to Prelude



I knew David Somers’s story would be magnificent. I knew he would have a HEA and a more than smoking hot partner in Alex Bishop. I knew he would find love and keep it. What I didn’t know, was that underneath all that extravaganza of a man, with a Villa in Italy, a penthouse in Chicago, an estate in Boston, and the admiration of an entire legion of classical fans all over the world; there would be a broken man, wishing he had lived to his late grandfathers every expectation.

If you had the opportunity to read this book and dare to claim that this story didn’t make you shed a tear or two, excuse me if I don’t believe you. Not only is this story an incredible one, but it also has too many beautiful moments that will simply take your breath away.

If you are familiar with the Blue Notes series, you will remember David Somers being mentioned in every single one of them. He’s like the wild card that all the rest of the characters have in common. David inherits the job of Conductor of the Chicago Symphony after Maestro John Fuchs retires. In one of his sold out performances, a young violinist, lover of modern classical rock, appears to save the night when one of the other musicians cannot perform. Alex Bishop appears as a heaven sent angel and captivated the audience as well as David himself.

Alex is one of those prodigious kids that grow up to become legends. His mom dies when he is still a kid and soon enough, Alex is forced to enter the system and become a foster kid who nobody really wanted. When he matures enough to run away, a freezing Chicago winter changes his life drastically, when a little girl finds him almost dead thru hypothermia and shelters him in an abandoned warehouse. His only possession: his mother’s violin. With that, he practices night and day until he finally reaches the age to go to school and become the artist he always wanted to be.

What I like most about Alex, is his way of facing life as it comes.

Anybody can claim that because they don’t have their parents they couldn’t succeed in life. Alex could’ve done the same, yet he portrays that kind of guy anybody can look up to and take good example from. Even in his darkest moments, he found a ray of sunshine through the melody his violin produced. He was so hungry for success and determined to make a name out of his talent that he didn’t stop pursuing his one and only passion.

And he made it.

When Alex appears in David‘s life, David had been married and had become a widower just a few years before. David married his longtime friend Helena, mostly to please a grandfather who never quite saw beyond his own desires and his obsession of preserving the Somer’s name. When Alex meets him many years after his grandfather had died, it is still the ghost of a mean and cold-hearted man that haunts David night and day.

I loved both characters to the point I had to make up my mind on who to love more: either a tormented David, so polite and formal, or a larger than life Alex that overcame the adversity with determination and perseverance. I fell in love with them both, I couldn’t help it. Both of these characters, unique as only they could be, are totally opposite poles that complete each other in the most harmonious way.

I certainly don’t know anything about classical music, but what I do know; is that David Somers and Alex Bishop’s love story is not only one of the most beautiful stories I have read this year, but also one of those that make you sing and grin with absolute joy remembering it .

Aria by Shira Anthony [Review]



Title:   Aria (Blue Notes # 3)

Author:  Shira Anthony

Genre:  Gay Contemporary Romance

Publication Date:  December 24, 2012

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press 

ISBN: 978-1-62380-176-2

Book Suburbia gives  a 4 1/2 Bookie rating to Aria



While reading this book, I went back in time 12 years for just a moment. I remembered the pain and heartbreaking feeling of losing the man I thought would someday be my husband, the guy who I dreamed would be the father of my kids. The only man I’ve loved sincerely and deeply to this day. I lost him (not to death though) but knew it would be the last time we had any kind of conversations about US on a very sad May night back in 2003. It was over. 5 years loving, and idolizing a man, and he left me with my dreams and my hope. I lost a lot of things that night, not only my dignity, but my will and confidence to ever love like that again.

I will admit it was ugly specially because I was so young and so in love, full of innocence. That kind of pure and shameless love that you only feel once in a lifetime. All I wanted was to live a happy ever after with somebody I mistakenly thought was right for me. A few years later he got married, and the day I saw him heading to the church to meet his bride I finally let him go.

It has been the most painful tribulation I have been thru in my entire life, but nowadays I am proud to say that I am over it. But it wasn’t easy, and it didn’t take just a few days. It was a healing process that lasted more than 8 years.

My apologies for the too personal intro, but reading Aria touched something so deep in me that I just had to share that piece of my life so you could understand a little bit of how much reading this story affected me. I understood with all my heart, mind and soul how difficult it must’ve been for Sam to let go of Nick. Whether it’s because of death or a bad breakup, letting somebody you loved so much go is one of the most difficult trials any human being can go through; and the way how Mrs. Anthony built Sam’s character is beyond any other troubled character I have ever read about. Seriously. Only somebody who has witnessed such type of pain will understand it.

Sam meets Aiden one day at a bar and Aiden feels instant attraction to the lawyer, they share a small encounter which leads them to starting something special. Over the course of 2 weeks they live a very passionate love story that ended quite too soon, but I guess at the exact moment it needed to end. Aiden is still young and searching for that one little opportunity that will help him jump start his career and neither of them were looking for love, but they found it the night they met. And Sam, convinced it was finally time to leave the pain of losing his partner behind, found in Aiden the piece of his puzzle that he really didn’t know was missing; and that inevitably would have to still remain missing for another 5 years.

Aiden understands the clear message from Sam (due to his constant hiding) that he most likely doesn’t want anything with him, so he decides to leave to Europe in search of his big breakthrough. Aiden lives a quite hectic life from city to city, performance after performance, until after falling in love with a very powerful  man and settling with him in London, his heart is shattered to pieces when he finds his lover cheating on him with another man. His world breaks, and he must fly far away from London and everything that reminds him of Lord Cameron.

That’s how he finds himself visiting his old friends Jules and Jason in Paris.

He didn’t know his destiny was still halfway written, until the day he saw Sam again after so many years, at Jason and Jules’s house. Both of them battle the attraction they still feel for one another, but you can only deny love so many times in life; and Sam and Aiden start the relationship they left on stand by five years earlier. The road is bumpy, but they do everything they can to make it work for once and all.

This book has it all. And to be quite honest I dare to say it highly exceeded my reader expectation. From a reader’s perspective, there is absolutely nothing this book lacks of. You will meet a wounded Sam, who learns how to fight his memories and his undying love, and an also heartbroken Aiden who trusted somebody who just fooled around with him. Both have humble upbringings. Both had to work hard to get where they are right now.

To tell you how marvelously written this book is would just be an understatement.

Aiden and Sam are not just your average gay couple. They come from very different yet similar places, where most of the people are hardcore conservatives. Sam was able to come out to his family, but Aiden’s family didn’t take the news so well so he was basically on his own when he met Sam so many years ago. They do have a lot in common and that’s what I think captivated me more about this story, cause character-wise, they are both hardworking – over the top – exceptional professionals. It comes as a very refreshing treat when you read about two characters so accomplished and determined. By the time they reunite again, Sam has achieved so much, just as Aiden has. There is no ulterior motives, no false pretenses. Sam though, struggles to let go of the ghost of his ex lover and Aiden feels that burden. The fight they both take in hands is just the start of something I call a ONCE IN A LIFETIME LOVE. Beautiful is not even enough to describe it.

This story is simply BRILLIANT. I could spend all day praising it, but the only truth is: GIVE YOURSELF A TREAT AND READ IT. I can assure you Aiden and Sam will steal your heart just the same way they stole mine.

The Melody Thief by Shira Anthony [Review]



Title:   The Melody Thief  (Blue Notes # 2)

Author:  Shira Anthony

Genre:  Gay Contemporary Romance

Publication Date:  August 24, 2012

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press 

ISBN: 978-1-61372-695-2

This is a Book Suburbia

Top Pick

5 Bookie


and a


romance novel recommended for a mature audience

If I could only explain with words all the emotion and joy I felt reading this book, I wouldn’t have enough space in this post to do so. So, I’ll stick to what can be described in words and will tell you this: The Melody Thief is possibly one of the greatest books I have read this year. Mrs.. Anthony knocked this completely out of the ball park. The story, the love they share, family values, friends, passion, Milan, New York. This book has all the necessary elements to make this love story, AN EPIC LOVE STORY. And of course the added bonus of a proud gay couple with the overwhelming blessing of a child is just the cherry on top.

I’m still emotionally wrecked about this beautiful yet painful love story between two men who have meet in the most awkward circumstance, and built a love from ashes, where each one was literally reborn.

If you’ve read Blue Notes, you probably remember Antonio Biachi, Rosie’s lawyer in Milan at a brief scene with Jason. Well, this is Antonio’s and Carey’s story. Before I describe you Antonio, let me describe you Carey in 5 words:


Carey is a gifted Cellist. He’s also a sex addict. A man whore who turned to promiscuity as an escape from his fucked up reality. Here’s the thing though: Carey doesn’t care about his life being this upside down. All he cares for is to release his inner pleasure beast night after night anywhere he can, with whoever he can, however he can. It doesn’t really matter that he’s a world known artist and that he has fame and fortune. Because of his strict upbringing, Carey grew resented of his mother’s demands. At the end he understands she only did it so he could succeed, but the lack of motherly love every child craves and needs is what turned him into what he is nowadays. His greatest escape? Anonymous sex in public bathrooms. After getting in trouble for unleashing his innermost cravings in a very careless way, his manager creates an alter ego for him. From there on, Carey is known in the downworld as Connor Taylor.

Ok so that’s Carey in a nutshell.

Antonio ‘Tonino’ Bianchi is a powerful lawyer, who just happened to be walking by the day he met (and saved) Carey from being mugged. From there, Carey noticed that Antonio was all he ever dreamed for in a man and he realizes he’s scared shitless to give him the opportunity to care for him. Little things like chicken soup, a bath, a massage and nurturing he never received from anyone do the trick. And Tonino is just all about loving and caring, since he has a little bundle of joy of his own to practice with.  Massi is the son he procreated with his best friend, Francesca, who shares custody of Massi with him, although she has a girlfriend of her own. Gifted with infinite patience, Tonino also carries a burden that shatters his soul, but that he’s willing to finally let go when he meets Carey.

Both of these guys stole my heart completely. Both had internal battles. Both were scared, but dared to love. Carey in particular was more adamant, and many of his insecurities were so deep rooted he didn’t even think he deserved a love and a family like the one Tonino was offering him. The overall story of forgiveness and second chances, makes this story a recipe for laughter, joy and pure reading pleasure everybody could love.

I cried a lot reading this book. Carey’s transformation is just one of the many reasons. Tonino’s soft, love and patience was another. Massi’s pure heart was the key to mine.

Mrs. Anthony: thank you, again and again and again until the end of time, cause without you knowing it, this book brought my love for reading back to life when I had thought it was dead.

Blue Notes by Shira Anthony [Review]



Title: Blue Notes (Blue Notes # 1)

Author:  Shira Anthony

Genre:  Gay Contemporary Romance

Publication Date:  December 30, 2011

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press 

ISBN: 978-1-61372-273-2

Book Suburbia gives 4 Bookies to Blue Notes


It’s really hard to put in words what one feels deep inside one’s soul after reading a story as beautiful like this. It’s not meant to be mushy, it’s not meant to be life changing. It’s simply an alternative love story that was written with love and most definitely published with even more love. First of many, hopefully not the last.

The first time I read a gay oriented novel (better known in the book world as M/M or F/F) it wasn’t a conventional situation. It actually wasn’t a full M/M romance but a ménage â trois type story. The experience of reading a heart melting love story like the one the two main characters had only spiked my curiosity. A few years later, I am a hopeless romantic fan of M/M romance.

When I first heard about Shira Anthony’s ‘Blue Notes’ series, my mind traveled to all those places like New York, Paris, Milan, London and Vienna known to be cities with deep cultural value to classical music lovers. I do confess I don’t particularly like or feel attracted to it myself, but the greatest love stories usually have such remarkable scenarios. Jason and Jules’s story couldn’t have less.

Set in the beautiful City of Lights, Mrs. Anthony gives us the story of a struggling young man, who’s only wish is to be a successful jazz musician, and a workaholic lawyer who one day comes to terms with himself about his life after discovering his own fiancé in bed with another man. Jason flies away from the hectic and stressful life he runs in Philadelphia and lands at his sister’s apartment in Paris. Jules on the other hand, is fighting to make his dream come true and someday become the jazz musician he always wanted to be. He belongs to a trio of talented musicians that like him, only want to succeed.

The way I see this story is quite simple:


You could easily believe this is a typical story of the clichéd straight man who tries it once with another man and afterwards decides he likes it an suddenly he’s gay.

In reality, this is a story way more elaborate and complex than that presenting very realistic situations and emotions. The drama that we witness thru the pen of Mrs. Anthony will only make you realize, how wonderful it is to finally discover that hidden part every human being has: a musical self, an animal lover, a doctor, a mentor. Name it as you wish, Jason’s realization that Jules was indeed that missing piece to his puzzle only gave him freedom.

And Jules, troubled boy that he was, found in Jason his muse, the key to his musical heart that wants to succeed, surface from all odds and personal tragedy and finally be able to do what he most wanted to do: be a musician and share with the world. The trials that Jules had to go thru in life have only made him the man he is now, and the only thing missing in his life is a man like Jason to share it with.

This is how a romance novel should be written. In all, what you will learn by reading this book is how emotional and creative this story is. How one man who has it all, a career, money, luxury, a super hot fiancé and apparently a happy life, discovers how the simple things in life; like a struggling Jazz musician from a humble upbringing, can knock him off his feet and make him realize how beautiful it is to accept his own nature, to fight together and make a life full of love, trust and music. Blue Notes will make you wish you were there in Paris, sitting at a small café listening to Jazz music, maybe  a melody composed by Jules called L’amour Toujours’.

Wonderland by David Matthew Barnes [BookBlitz

Wonderland Banner 450 x 169



Wonderland Book Cover


David-Matthew Barnes

Genre: Young Adult/Paranormal/Romance/LGBT

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books

ISBN: 978-1602827882


Number of pages: 181

Word Count: 49,000

 Amazon    Barnes and Noble    Bold Strokes Books

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 16 sofias


Nominated for the American Library Association’s 2014 Rainbow Books!

After her mother loses her battle to cancer, fifteen-year-old Destiny Moore moves from Chicago to Avalon Cove, a mysterious island in South Carolina. There, she starts a new life working part-time as a magician’s assistant and living with her eccentric uncle Fred and his hottie husband, Clark.

 Destiny is soon befriended by two outcasts, Tasha Gordon and Topher McGentry. She accepts their invitation to accompany them to a place called Wonderland, a former boarding house owned by the enigmatic Adrianna Marveaux.

 It’s there that Destiny meets and falls in love with Dominic, Tasha becomes enamored with Juliet, and Topher gives his heart to Pablo.

When Destiny uncovers the reason she and her friends have really been brought to Wonderland, she’s faced with the most crucial choice of her life.



Topher turned to me. “Destiny, do you believe in magic?”

            I gave them both a look. “Okay,” I said, a hand on my hip. “Why does everyone keep asking me that?”

            Tasha reached out and brushed a few strands of hair away from my eyes. “Because here,” she said, “you either believe in magic…or you don’t. Topher and I…we believe.”

            “We need to know where you stand,” Topher echoed.

            “Where I stand?” I repeated. “I’m standing on an island in South Carolina a thousand miles from home.”

            Topher slid his arm around my waist. He whispered into my ear, “That life is behind you now.”

            I started to cry, and felt like a complete idiot. “I know,” I said, with a small nod. “I can never go back.”

            “We know what you’ve been through,” Tasha said. She took my hand and placed it in hers. Her skin was as soft and velvety as it looked. “We know about pain.”

My voice cracked when I spoke. “I miss my mom,” I admitted.

            “She misses you, too,” Tasha said, tightening her grip on my hand.

            “Soon everything will make sense,” Topher promised.

            “You guys are being super sweet and I really appreciate that,” I said, “especially since you don’t even know me. I swear I’m not usually an emotional mess like this.”

            “We want to take you somewhere,” Topher said.

            “Okay,” I said. “But should I call my uncles first?”

            “I promised Sir Frederic the Great I’d have you home by nine,” Tasha reminded me. “And you will be.”

            “I only have one question,” I said.

            “You can ask us anything,” Topher said. “We have nothing to hide.”

            “Where exactly are we going?” I asked.

            Tasha smiled at me and said, “We’re taking you to Wonderland.”




David-Matthew Barnes is a filmmaker, novelist, playwright, poet, and teacher.

 He is the award-winning author of nine novels including the young adult novels Swimming to Chicago and Wonderland, which were nominated by the American Library Association for their annual Rainbow Books, a list of quality books with significant and authentic GLBTQ content for children and teens. His literary work has appeared in over one hundred publications including The Best Stage Scenes, The Comstock Review, and The Southeast Review. He was selected by Kent State University as the national winner of the Hart Crane Memorial Poetry Award. In addition, he’s received the Carrie McCray Literary Award, the Slam Boston Award for Best Play, and earned double awards for poetry and playwriting in the World AIDS DayDavid-Matthew Barnes Promo Photo #1 Writing Contest.

Barnes is also the author of over forty stage plays that have been performed in three languages in eight countries. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and International Thriller Writers.

Barnes’ first film was Frozen Stars, which he wrote and directed while still an undergrad in college. The coming-of-age independent film stars Lana Parrilla of ABC’s Once Upon a Time.

Barnes earned a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing at Queens University of Charlotte in North Carolina. He has taught college courses in writing and the arts for the last decade.

He lives in the city of Denver where he serves as the CEO of Fairground CineFilms.

010 sofi

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10 eBooks (in PDF format) and 2 autographed paperback copies 


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The Chosen by Annette Gibsy [BookBlitz]


The Chosen – PROMO Blitz

By Annette Gisby
M/M Fantasy Romance
Date Published: 6/15/2013
The neighbouring kingdoms of Oscia and Arcathia have been at a tentative peace for three years after centuries of warfare. Prince Severin of Arcathia has been brought up to put duty before all else and as the only son of the King and Queen, it is his duty to marry and produce an heir. His parents want him to marry an Oscian princess to cement that tentative peace. Unfortunately Severin isn’t interested in princesses. Now, if he had his pick of princes that would be another matter.
Havyn has been a slave all his life. When his aptitude for wizardry is discovered, he finds himself purchased and freed by Prince Severin and apprenticed to the royal wizard, Ildar. His duty is to stay chaste to keep his powers strong, but his feelings for Severin sorely test his resolve.
With kingdoms at war, the throne hanging in the balance, magic in the air, and outside forces trying to keep them apart, can the two men find happiness together, or is duty more important than love?
At the large wrought iron gates, they were stopped by two guards who crossed two lances in front of them.
Halt! Who goes there?”
Chayal, is that any way to greet your prince?” growled Ildar, glaring at the guard.
By the Raven! It is you.” Chayal and the other guard sank to one knee, bowing their heads, the sun glinting off their metal helmets.
Get up, you two,” said Severin. “You know I hate all that.”
The guards got up and grinned at the party. “Kelandras going to kill you, you know that, right?” asked Chayal.
What are you on about now, Chayal?” said a female voice from behind them. The woman had dark auburn hair done in two braids hanging down over her chest. On seeing the three of them beyond the guards, she stopped dead in her tracks and just stared. Unlike any other woman Havyn had ever seen, she wasnt wearing a gown, but wore a pair of breeches and an over tunic like the guards. Whereas their tunic was white with the black raven, hers was red with a golden sword on it. A sword hung from her left hip in a leather scabbard.
Hello, Kelandra.” Severin bowed from the waist.
Dont you hello Kelandra me,” she snarled, her hands on her hips. “What got into you? You were supposed to wait for me before you went on your journey. Running off like that without your guards. Its a wonder you werent killed! Your father blames me for not going with you. He didnt want you to go without a guard.”
You were just there,” said Severin. “You know its me hes angry with.”
Kelandra, let me introduce Havyn. He is to become my new apprentice,” said Ildar. Kelandra looked at Havyn and smiled.
Forgive my bad manners, Havyn. Be welcome in Arcathia.” She crossed both arms over her chest and bowed to him. Havyn stared. No one had ever bowed to him before.
Pleased to meet you, Princess Kelandra,” said Havyn, returning the same gesture. From the way she and Severin talked to each other, Havyn guessed they were brother and sister.
Kelandra laughed. “Oh, Im no princess, Havyn.”
Kelandra is a Daughter of the Sword,” said Ildar. “Shes one of Prince Severins bodyguards.”
girl bodyguard?” blurted Havyn before he could stop himself.
She laughed again. “Indeed, Havyn. You have a lot to learn about Arcathia.”
Kelandra, can you take Havyn to my mother? He was injured and may need some more tending,” said Severin. I had better face my father.”


Annette Gisby grew up in a small town in Northern Ireland, moving to London when she was seventeen. Being a very small town there were no bookshops and a small library. When she’d devoured every book she could get her hands on in the library, she started writing her own stories so she would always have something to read later.
When not writing she enjoys reading, cinema, theatre, walks along deserted beaches or wandering around ruined castles (great places for inspiration!) New Zealand is her favourite place and she hopes to travel back there one day. She’s a fan of Japanese Manga and Anime and one day hopes to learn Japanese.
She currently lives in Hampshire with her husband, a collection of porcelain dolls and stuffed penguins and enough books to fill a small library. It’s diminishing gradually since the discovery of ebooks but still has a long way to go. 
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Changing Tide by D P Denman [BookBlitz]



Title: Changing Tide
Author: DP Denman
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance

​For Jack Lewis love comes from unexpected places…so does tragedy. When David arrived on Vancouver Island, he was just another tourist looking to charter a boat. A few hours on the water together proves he is more than that. As a world traveler, David is a man of mystery who has been everywhere and seen everything.

Attraction draws them together but an attempt at a meaningless fling fails one touch at a time when Jack feels more than he thought he would. The love affair sparks fear in David and jealousy in Emerson, the man who frequents Jack’s bed in a relationship that is all sex and no soul.

At odds with the men in his life Jack tries to talk David into staying and Emerson into going. The attempt sends things spinning out of control and he struggles with the consequences that could leave him empty handed.


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“What are you running from?”
Blue eyes came up from his mug and pinned him with a pensive stare. He was pushing the boundaries of their intense little affair. It was supposed to be sex and casual conversation but there was a lot more to David than just a nice ass. He wasn’t the sort of man you used and threw away.
“Nothing that matters.”
“I think it does. I see it every time I look at you. I realize we’re not really friends but sometimes a stranger you’re never going to see again is the perfect forum for spilling your guts.”
“Sometimes,” David nodded and dropped his gaze to the table before he picked up his mug and took another sip of coffee. Emotion twitched across his lips. “Sometimes there is no perfect forum,” he let his eyes drift back out to sea. “I know there’s something between us that could become more than just this,” he told the water, his voice quiet. “I feel it too but that’s not what I want. I just want to fuck you, Jack,” David’s gaze drifted back to him. “That’s all and if we can’t keep the rest of it under control then maybe it’s time to end this before things get out of hand.”
“It didn’t say I couldn’t handle it the way it is. It just seems a shame when you’ve got so much more to offer than a nice body and good sex.”
“’Good sex’?” David’s eyebrows slid up his forehead.
“Ok, great sex.”
David smiled. “That’s better.”


About D P Denman

DP Denman is an M/M (gay) contemporary romance author from the soggy splendor of the Pacific Northwest. She is a long-suffering hockey fan and an enthusiast of all things coffee. In addition to being an obsessed writer, DP is also an eclectic reader and determined LGBT rights activist. She lives with her fur babies and a pair of hyper-caffeinated muses.