Archive for February, 2016

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Color me surprised when Susan sent me the e-mail. Seems Nia Farrell saw my coveting post about her novella, Something Different, and went above and beyond, not just offering a copy for me to read, but she sent it along. In the right format.

Nia, girl, I like you already.

And boy, did I like this story. Novella. Whichever it is; it’s a quick read, and it’s a good read and my biggest complaint is the same as everyone else’s: it’s not long enough. Although, in a sense, this is a fully contained story. Beginning, middle, end. Character growth. All those things Susan tells me to look for. The problem is that it’s really well done and I want more.

So I had all these questions coming into the read, and while the issues of Anna’s success as a songwriter are answered really well, her family issues aren’t resolved. But then again, they’re mentioned and Anna’s pretty clear that this isn’t an easy road ahead for her. But it’s going to happen, she’s absolute about that. And right now, it doesn’t matter: the book ends with the promise of a new day for Anna and her two men, twins Jackson and Jacob.

Another thing that had bugged me, the lack of professionalism and distance between Anna and her men, didn’t come up while I was reading. From the first word, Anna’s smoldering with sexuality and sensuality. Her first exchange with the boys drips with sex. It’s inevitable, and that’s why it works. There aren’t a lot of other books I’ve read with this much sexuality in the way the narrator talks and hoo boy, this is what makes this so good, so readable, and so hard to put down.

And me, the not-fan of male-male romances, liked that these guys aren’t interested in each other (okay, put like that? I just grossed myself out. I mean, they’re twins!). It’s all about Anna, being with her, dominating her, and taking care of her.

I like that aftercare’s starting to show up more often in BDSM books. Saw it first in Cecilia Tan’s latest, and here it is again. There’s more of it here, more care at almost every stage along the way. I like.

Two complaints: because the book’s so short, it’s hard to tell the twins apart, although Anna gets it down pretty fast. A longer book would mean more and better time to get to know the guys and what—other than Anna—they’re into.

The other complaint is that despite the scenes of music making, there’s not enough here to set them all apart as musicians. The music doesn’t breathe, but then again, I’m glad we didn’t have the usual clichéd scene of Anna and the boys stopping their sex play or waking up to find one or the other busy writing a new song inspired by their love. I like that they have a scheduled songwriting time. I just wanted more of it, but then again, I wanted more of everything in this one.

Huge thanks to Nia for sending this on. I’m a fangirl.

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This is kinda sorta historical fiction. It’s set long before I was born, so that makes it historical, right? 1948?

In the autumn of 1948, young millionaire Will Darcy comes to the sleepy, backwater town of Meryton, South Carolina to visit his best friend, Charles Bingley. When Darcy becomes enchanted by a local beauty with a heavenly voice, his business dealings with Longbourn Farms may close the door to his romantic hopes before they are given a chance to thrive.

Still healing from heartbreak, Elizabeth Bennet takes solace in her family, home, and the tight-knit community of Meryton. That foundation is shaken when Will Darcy makes a successful offer to buy the family farm. Blinded by hurt, will Elizabeth miss the chance to find in him the peace and comfort her heart truly needs?

Confronting the racial, economic, and social inequalities of the times, Longbourn’s Songbird is an imaginative romance inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice and told through the lens of postwar America, a story layered with betrayal and loss, love and letting go.

Maybe this isn’t Rock Fiction in the usual sense, but it’s got a music theme — or it claims to — and that alone lets it count. Besides, it’s different, and you guys ought to know I like different by now.

I’m just curious how important music is to the story. Anyone know?

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I think it was last month that I wrote up the first in Deborah Fletcher Mello’s Sultry Southern Nights series, Playing with Fire. I’m not sure why I didn’t write this one up at the same time, but here it is now, so let’s be happy together.

As an accomplished architect, single dad of teenage twin girls, and co-owner of The Playground, Raleigh’s hottest jazz and blues club, it’s an understatement to say Malcolm Cobb has his hands full. Add to that an ex-wife who knows how to bring the drama, it’s no surprise he has little time or inclination for a personal life. But when he spots stunning, voluptuous Cilla Jameson, he’s suddenly considering rearranging his schedule and setting aside his concerns. . .

Independent and successful, Cilla would love to be in love. But when it comes to men, she has a lengthy list of requirements. And “no children” is at the top. Yet she can’t help being intrigued by Malcolm. He’s handsome, fascinating, respectful–and up for a challenge. But is Cilla? After all, the man has baggage–and it is fully packed. Can she handle the ex who’s determined to keep him single? Or the twins who are not quite the angels Malcolm thinks? She’ll have to decide, if she wants to play for keeps. . .

So what’s tying the first two books together here is The Playground, Raleigh’s hottest jazz and blues club. Both heroes are the owners. I’m not sure what this means for future books in the series, but hey, if the books revolve around The Playground, who’s going to care? Especially if they are good.

I’m not sure there’s anything new here in the story as it’s described, but it still sounds like fun. And that’s it: it sounds like FUN. It’s the voice of the description, I guess. Or maybe it’s my mood. I don’t know, and when it comes to books that could be a fun read, I’m there. I guess the biggest question of all is that despite being set in a jazz club, is this really Rock Fiction?

I want to find out.

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What a thing to wake up to after a weekend spent offline! Book one in Nia Farrell’s Three Graces series is now FREE.

 

SOMETHING ELSE (The Three Graces Book One) by Nia Farrell is FREE from Dark Hollows Presshttp://www.darkhollowspress.com/#!something-else/c1tdc (http://bit.ly/211KDJn) and FREE with coupon (Code is RT68T) from Smashwords ➔https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/571934 + coupon RT68T

Better pick it up. Jett and I both read the second book and … wow. Don’t miss this series!

 

And, as always, leaving a few words in a review for a book you’ve read is a fabulous way to show the author some love and to pay it forward. It could be at Amazon, it could be at GoodReads, it could be at Smashwords, it could be on your own blog, or one you’ve borrowed. Need to borrow one? I’ve always got space!

TG SALE Feb 2016
SALE ~ SALE ~ SALE! Spring ahead with Summer Heat! For a limited time, February 19th – 28th

 

The Three Graces Series by Nia Farrell. Three women. Six men. Things are about to get interesting.

 

SOMETHING ELSE (The Three Graces Book One) by Nia Farrell is FREE from Dark Hollows Press! ➔ http://www.darkhollowspress.com/#!something-else/c1tdc (http://bit.ly/211KDJn)

 
SOMETHING DIFFERENT (Book Two) is on sale for $1.99 at all major retailers:

Buy links to SOMETHING DIFFERENT (a BSDM MFM ménage rock star erotic romance):

Amazon ➔ http://mybook.to/SomethingElse

Allromance ➔ https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-somethingelse-1874223-340.html

BookStrand ➔ http://www.bookstrand.com/something-else-mmf

Smashwords ➔ https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/571934

Dark Hollows Press ➔ http://www.darkhollowspress.com/#!something-else/c1tdc

 

SOMETHING MORE (Book Three, nominated for Best BDSM Book of the Year, Ménage Category, 2016 Golden Flogger Awards) is on sale for $1.99 at all major retailers:

Amazonhttp://mybook.to/SomethingMore

Barnes and Noblehttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/something-more-nia-farrell/1122797262?ean=2940151160094

Allromancehttps://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-somethingmore-1905345-147.html

Smashwordshttps://www.smashwords.com/books/view/585262

Dark Hollows Presshttp://www.darkhollowspress.com/#!something-more/c1clr

 

The Three Graces Series by Nia Farrell from Dark Hollows Press

SOMETHING ELSE August 25, 2015

SOMETHING DIFFERENT September 29, 2015

SOMETHING MORE October 15, 2015

 

 

 

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This wasn’t the book I was expecting when I heard about it. Rock band moves in with a woman and tests her already troubled marriage. But then again, maybe I’m not sure what I was expecting. Not really. This could have gone a million directions.

Brenda Dunkirk is in her thirties when she writes a letter to her rock hero, Hydra’s Keith Kutter. And somehow, she winds up first having dinner with the guy—who, contrary to most Rock Fiction, shows up as an utter jerk—and then renting out her house and backyard to Keith and his band as they write a new album. Why her house? Because Keith comes over, becomes enchanted with her wind chimes, she just so happens to know of a recording studio he can use, and the band’s diva manager decides the band absolutely must not change their setting while they write a new album.

Has anyone asked the band what they want to do?

Now, in the middle of this mix is Brenda and her husband, Tim. They’re struggling to stay together. He’s running for the State Senate and she’s gunning for a promotion at work. There’s a lot at stake here, but they don’t seem to care. Nope. This was Brenda’s dream and so Tim tells her to go for it, despite his reservations.

This is one of the book’s big sticking points for me. At times, Tim is completely indifferent to Brenda. At times, he’s disdainful of her. And then at other times, he’s totally romantic and working to be a good partner. There’s never much of a sense that he’s struggling with how he feels about her. This makes it hard to get to know him. In fact, the most important thing in his life seems to be the Senate race, yet we don’t know why it’s important to him. Not really. Maybe we’re told, but we don’t see or feel his passion for it.

He’s also a mama’s boy, who has no guts or gumption where Mama Portia is concerned, and it’s clear he puts her before his wife. Another thing I’m not sure of is why Brenda loves him—or why she stays with such a wuss. Cut your losses, girl!

Adding to Tim’s wussy confusion and after a series of passive aggressive responses to the band’s antics, he finally takes a stand against Brenda and the band. Of course, he does it without ever speaking to the band. Because Tim’s the man.

Plot holes abound when the band moves in. There are fans who camp out in the front yard and an entire tent city in the backyard, but the neighbors never complain and, in this age of social media, no one ever asks or finds out what’s going on. Don’t Brenda and Tim talk to their neighbors? Aren’t there any nosy teenagers nearby? Can’t the people next door see into the yard and wonder about the tents, or report the Senator-to-be for jamming too many people onto his property? No one alerts the media? Really? Even when that drumset in the garage gets played?

This setup could totally smear Tim and his campaign, but no one seems to catch on. I just don’t buy it, even when explanations are offered. Maybe in the eighties, but this book is set in the present day. You’d expect a public relations whiz like Brenda keeps telling us she is to have even a basic understanding of social media.

The band generally is not much more than a cliché. Sex, drugs, prostitutes, a disregard for Brenda and Tim and their home… it’s all there. And to Knapp’s credit, once Keith is an asshole, he remains an asshole. No easy redemption for him, and that’s a bonus. He has some good personality quirks, too, so bonus points for that.

Brenda, though, drove me up a couple of walls. She’s hard to like because she’s such a groupie even now. Age and experience hasn’t kicked in for her, and she’s got no real distance from her youth. She talks about what a great public relations person she is, and we hear about all the stuff she’d do for the band, but she’s more interested in being a muse for lyrics and living out her groupie fantasies than she is in truly helping this band she claims is so important to her. If you want to be valuable to the big dogs, you learn to adapt, and fast. Brenda never does. She never even tries to gain an authority and authenticity with the band; she’s never more than a doormat until it comes to be time for the book’s climax.

This doormat tendency is a serious problem for me. Her grasp of her own personal power comes in one or two moments of glory, and then she’s right back to being a doormat again. Now, she does work for a manipulative bitch of a boss, who holds a promotion over her head at all times, and her mother-in-law is even worse and has a beautifully oedipal situation with her son, Brenda’s husband. She does have these things working against her. But come on. She feels like such a powerless character, and that’s not the trend in fiction right now.

I could argue that it’s nice to see an author fighting against the trends, and it is, but doormats were never my thing, in real life or in fiction. Brenda doesn’t have to be a kick-ass heroine who fixes everything singlehandedly without breaking a sweat or knocking a hair out of place.

I’d just like to see more of her strength and creativity.

Was it worth a read? For the sheer cleverness of the way the Rock Fiction angle is handled, yes. I like the potential here. I like how Knapp uses the band and the lifestyle to draw a sharp contrast to Brenda’s life. I like that Brenda isn’t willing to conform to the Hydra lifestyle just because they are in her house, and I like that she sees things in her husband that I don’t and that she does fight for him, even if I don’t fully understand why.

And I like that this isn’t the same old, same old. It may not have been 100%, but it’s sure a lot better than the formula I’ve seen too much of lately. Huge kudos for that.

So… thanks to NetGalley for the review copy. I’m glad to see Rock Fiction that isn’t the typical plotline, and I’m glad to see places like NetGalley bringing Rock Fiction to the world. Keep the creative plots coming, authors.

 

In case you missed it, this review copy came from NetGalley in exchange for Jett’s honest opinion. They didn’t pay me, no one around here got anything other than a free  book and a headache ’cause Jett’s slower than Susan is, if that’s possible.

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Back to country music! What is it about Rock Fiction featuring country stars that I like so much? This one’s got the added benefit of also being a movie star. Talented dude!

Four years after Roman Kincaid was catapulted into stardom as a country-western singer and A-list movie star, he is burned out: exhausted by a grueling schedule, drained by the ceaseless demands of producers and managers, weary of meeting the needs of others at the expense of his own. Leaving a sold-out show in Phoenix, he rents a car and drives north and east, landing in the Painted Desert town of Rainbow Rock.

Nearly three years after leaving her old life behind, Lottie Beale is feeding people and baking pies, managing the Kachina Café and tending secrets of her own. When circumstances conspire to give two attractive people some time alone together amid the world-class vistas of the Four Corners, they discover more than either had bargained for.

I don’t even want to think about the shitstorm this guy just stirred up by walking out on a sold-out show. I really hope he waited until the end ’cause baby? That’s one ugly scene I don’t even want to go near — but if it needs to happen, I want to see our buddy Roman deal with it. Because baby, you made that mess? You fix it. We don’t see that often enough, I don’t think.

Beyond that, this sounds like … a typical romance. Which is fine. I like ’em that way, more than when they follow some of the usual tropes we see too much here (hello, working for the band trope. I’m looking square at you). But two people with secrets… that’s just how life is, baby.

This one can’t land in my hands fast enough.

Reviewers Needed!

Posted: February 17, 2016 in Note to Readers
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Hey! Rock Fiction lovers!

Since the start of the year, I’ve been inundated with review requests. If you missed the news about me over at West of Mars, I had a pretty exciting –and very unwelcome — start to the new year. I’m in slow motion. Reading has been particularly hard, and I think I’ve read two books since the start of the year. Me, who used to read 12 a month. It’s time to publicly admit I can’t maintain that pace.

For awhile now, I’ve been meaning to put this call out. I’m going to use the accident as the kick in the pants (eye?) that I’ve been needing.

I need reviewers. People who are willing to accept review requests and read a book and post your review here (and you are free to post it elsewhere, including the social book sites, as well. In fact, I encourage it). People who have read something on their own and now want to write a review of it. People who wrote a review for some other purpose and who want it to reach a wider distribution. Reblogs are fully welcomed, and be sure to include links back to you if you’d like. I’m all about giving props where they are due.

In a nutshell: I want more reviews. MORE. Lots more. And I want as many contributors as possible. I want this site to live and breathe and help spread the gospel of Rock Fiction (such as it is) as far as we can. We love this category for a reason, right? So c’mon. Here’s your chance.

Rock Fiction Reviewers needed! (No experience necessary)

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So right off the bat with this series, I have a question. The book descriptions for Resistor and Remastered are almost the same. Same characters, same situation. One’s a bit more explicit than the other, but otherwise… are these the same book, or is there a mistake somewhere?

And then it gets worse. There are only two full-length novels out (Resistor and Remastered are those in-between novellas that are so popular right now) and … they also sound a lot alike. It’s hard at first to figure out that the second book is a continuation of their story. Why not just say that at the start? After seeing two novellas with the same description, when I saw two novels talking about the same two people and the same set-up of “it was supposed to be a one-night stand…” what is a person supposed to think?

When I see problems like this, I gotta stop and wonder if they’re signs of even bigger problems later on in the books. Hard to say; the overall reviews are pretty good, and that makes me want to read them for myself and see exactly what’s going on.

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I really like the first line of this one. We see so many driven main characters that it’s nice to see someone who’s a little lost at the get-go. Or maybe a lot lost.

RIDLEY WELLS HAS NO idea what to do with her life now that she’s graduated from college. But when a friend is murdered and her apartment is trashed, she runs to the only person she trusts, her twin sister. No one will think to look for her in the rinky dink Virginia town of New Haven.

Of course, her luck lands her passed out in the grass in front of resident badboy, music producer Jackson Alexander. Strike 1!

Then she realizes Raina’s out of the country and she has nowhere else to go. Strike 2!

So when the handsome producer with the platinum smile mistakes her for her sister, she gets an idea.

Where better to hide than in plain sight?

WARNING: This book contains cloak and dagger intrigue, family drama, brothers fighting, supermodels with attitude and hot sex between people who can’t keep their hands off each other. Just saying…

The masquerade trope is an oldie, but I like how it sounds here. Bring this one on, and fast!