Words and Stuff

Posts tagged ‘MM Romance’

My 2014 top reads & special mentions

For the past month I’ve been trawling through my bookshelves (virtual and literal) in an attempt to choose my top ten books of the year and to be honest its been a bit of an ordeal. Who do I include? There are so many that have made me cry, laugh and read again. There are also books which I have been surprised by, then there are the books which I may never visit again (one of which nearly made it onto the list).

Finally though I  have decided on ten – plus some special mentions.

Soooo *drum roll* in no particular order, please find my top ten(ish) (and a small disclaimer I am no reviewer – I write about how a book makes me feel nothing else)…

1. A Little Too Broken by Brad Vance
This book has been growing on me since I downloaded it earlier this year and has become one of my frequent re-reads. Is it erotica? A big love story? Not really, its two guys who are a little bit damaged (one is HIV positive, the other a veteran who has lost his legs and who is diagnosed with PTSD) attempting to find their way in life. It’s kind of a feel good book. They take it slowly, they have their ups and downs and finally, eventually get their HEA/HFN

2. All Kinds of Tied Down by Mary Calmes
Better than the others in this series? For me yes. I love how Mary Calmes writes and of course normally there is the big alpha male being all stompy and ‘mine’, this though isn’t like that. Ian is the alpha but boy is he damaged and needing care and love. I adore it.

3. In Your Eyes by Cardeno C
I’ve read this book so many times if the pages could wear out they would. Wonderful characterisation of Samuel from a rigid, stroppy, stubborn boy to a man whose whole life turns 180 degrees over the course of a night. You can almost hear the penny drop from the page as he realises who his mate is.

4. Meatworks by Jordan Castillo Price
There is a strong possibility I may well kick myself repeatedly for a) not reading any of the authors work prior to this and b) not saying hello to her at the UK Meet earlier this year. This book was my first work by JCP and hasn’t been the last. I have since moved onto the Psycops series and am thoroughly enjoying that too. The MC here is a hot mess in this book and by god you want to strangle him at times but I think that’s why I enjoyed it.

Also the Sea Monkeys. The damn sea monkeys. I’m still wondering how they are.

5. A Forbidden Rumspringa by Keira Andrews
I also survived it. Although it was a close call. Hit all my kinks. Especially the Amish part. Obviously.

6. Hostile Ground by LA Witt & Aleksandr Voinov
This is were I admit to being an idiot (part one). I had this on my kindle ages before I read it. I put it off though, not really feeling the blurb, the cover or anything about it really to be honest. Oh was I a fool girl, because yes of course, I fucking loved it. Guns, sex, spies, hot sex, guns, espionage, nephews, demands to the author he write another, whats not to like? I loved it so hard.

7. Evenfall by Santino Hassell & Ais
I will never forgive / stop saying thank you to the persons who recommended the start of this series to me. I have cried, laughed, punched the kindle then hugged it pretending it was Hsin. I have now moved onto Afterimage, the second in the series, which so fair involves the character Boyd being recommended for level 10. No good will come of that I suspect.

8. Strength of the Mate by Kendall McKenna
Superior paranormal shifter story set in a world where shifters are not hidden but are part of a modern day US Army. Noah and Lucas make an appearance from the first book which is always a bonus feature but mostly it’s Adam and Dawson’s story that does it for me.

And the dirty talk. Cos there is lots of dirty talk.

9. The Mating of Michael by Eli Eastern
Book three of the Sex In Seattle Series is wonderful but at the time of reading I wasn’t sure how to review it and merely gave it 5 stars. It dealt with difficult topics well, it was emotional and humorous, Michael and James became firm favourites with me. I even took it into work so I could finish it!

10. Think of England by KJ Charles
A hint of Sherlock Holmes about this in my opinion only (hope the author doesn’t mind me saying), and I loved it. In fact it’s probably one of my most favourite books of the year along with Meatworks. Cleverly written, the attention to detail is superb. One of the best historical books I’ve ever read. Plus, I got to visit the house the author had based it on and that made it even better.

And that’s my top ten – however there are some special mentions. And these are series where if I was to just put them all together they have a top ten(ish) of their own:

The Magpie Lord Series by KJ Charles – wonderful wonderful series of books that led me to too…
Widdershins by Jordan L Hawk – I’m a idiot part 2 as I only found them in October
Enlightment Series by Joanna Chambers

Additional special mentions also go to Jay Northcote for Nothing Ventured, Skybound by Aleks Voinov and SA Meade for Tournament of Shadows. Books which I have loved and which where *this close* (holds fingers up to the screen) to getting on the list.

Till next year – When I remember how to work Word Press again.

Sam x



Boldy going where no me has been before

In October of last year a call was made by Dreamspinner Press for short story submissions to their UK Anthology to be published in June.

And me being me I decided to fuck it, have a go and write a story which celebrated the United Kingdom. I have to admit right away I found it hard. Really hard. I planned for 5k – I’d written a story previously at that length and it worked really well, so I sat down and wrote straight off a story about a son who returned home to find his fortune telling grandmother had died and left him her ‘booth.’

It was ‘okay’.

Nothing special.

That was mid December. With the hustle and bustle of Christmas I didn’t touch the story again until the New Year. Then I attacked it with a big knife and completely changed it. The story ended up being something very different to the original.

The next thing I did was have someone read it. She loved it (apparently).

Her feedback was good. Her final word on the matter – “submit it.”

Next I then gave it to my boyfriend who also said  – “submit it.”

However the day before the deadline I still hadn’t submitted. Why? Well most people think I am confident, talkative, kinda girl. In reality I’m neither. I have at times anxiety issues and sometimes my self esteem goes so low it takes a strong minded man who I adore to pull me back out.

On that particular day the man was about. He sat with me as I did a final read through, wrote the submission email and did a short synopsis. He was then the one to click send.

Not me.

I couldn’t do it.

However as soon as he hit send I felt better – for about an hour. Then the doubts crept in. Should I recall it? Am I going to show myself up? What if… heavens above they like it and want it (nah..).

I sat and waited for two days and on the third I received an email.

They said yes.

Insert screaming. Lots of oh my gods, fucking hells, and explanations to work colleagues as to why little old me was unable to breathe.

Suddenly I had people whose names I only knew from twitter emailing me, welcome emails from Dreamspinner Press and apparently had to go and get something called an ITIN.

A what now?

Because what they don’t tell you that when you have said yes and signed a contract there is the little thing called IRS, then the British tax system, legalizing yourself (I am officially me now), something about artwork (really?), burbs, adjectives to describe your story (erm funny??’) and then there are track changes. And honestly? I hate track changes.

Thankfully though, I have had help and everyone I have got information and advice from has been wonderful.

But all the while, my nerves are getting steadily worse. What if I let the ‘side’ down? What if no one ‘gets’ it? What if the publisher already regrets saying yes?!

For an aspiring author to have their first submission accepted and published is just down right fucking scary but in the end getting published and submitting work is exactly what I wanted. I made a promise to myself that by the time I was 40 I would be an published author.

At 39 I will have achieved that.

I hope people like my story.

I hope they get it.

I also feel I might have to do a guide to Blackpool at the beginning for those whose have never heard of it.

But in the end I am proud. My short story will be published, it may lead to other things, it may not but for a girl who needs a new head attaching every now and again and who has wanted to smoke a packet of cigarettes whilst typing this, that can’t be a bad thing.

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