Historical Romance Review: An Unseen Attraction by KJ Charles

unseen

An Unseen Attraction by KJ Charles

Published by: Loveswept

Format: e-ARC

Genre: Historical Romance

Order at: Amazon

Reviewed by: Erin

What to Expect: An exciting mystery, a sweet romance, and all the Victorian taxidermy you could ever ask for!

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Romantic Suspense Review: Guarding Mr. Fine by HelenKay Dimon

guarding

Guarding Mr. Fine by HelenKay Dimon (Tough Love #3)

Published by: Loveswept

Format: e-ARC

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Order at: Amazon

Reviewed by: Erin

What to Expect: Car chases, explosions, an exciting mystery, and men who would rather cut off a limb than have a feeling.

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Contemporary Romance Review: Hard Wired by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

hard wired

Hard Wired by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell (Cyberlove #3)

Published by: Megtino Press

Format: e-ARC

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Order at: Amazon

Reviewed by: Erin

What to Expect: An exploration of the intersection of our online identities and our physical lives, the realities of the modern economy, and the awesome power of fandom, all wrapped up in lots and lots of explicit sex. A smart and hot love letter to the digital age.

 

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Contemporary YA Review: Draw the Line by Laurent Linn

drawtheline_laurentlinnDraw the Line by Laurent Linn

Published by: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Format: mobi

Genre: YA/LGBT+

Order at: Amazon

Reviewed by: Alex

What to Expect: A teen comes into his own when he exposes the truth about a hate crime…with art.

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Contemporary YA Review: Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard

girl-mans-upGirl Mans Up by M-E Girard

Published by: Harper TEEN

Format: Hardcover

Genre: YA/LGBT+

Order at: Amazon

Reviewed by: Alex

What to Expect: A superb tale of a teen coming into her own.

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New Binge Worthy Book: Sara recs Spindrift by Amy Rae Durreson

spindriftTitle and Author: Spindrift by Amy Rae Durreson

Published by: Dreamspinner Press

Format: epub, paperback

Genre: mm romance, paranormal

Order at: Amazon

Reviewed by: Sara Beth

What to Expect: An old fashioned, beautifully written, skillfully rendered ghost story. This tale is perfect for a chilly autumn night, tucked in under the covers, with every single light on. If you enjoy paranormal romance, with a dash of mystery, this is the Halloween read for you.


 

Plot: When lonely artist Siôn Ruston retreats to the seaside village of Rosewick Bay, Yorkshire, to recover from a suicide attempt, he doesn’t expect to encounter any ghosts, let alone the one who appears in his bedroom every morning at dawn. He also doesn’t expect to meet his ghost’s gorgeous, flirty descendant working at the local museum… and the village pub, and as a lifeboat volunteer. But Mattie’s great-great-grandfather isn’t the only specter in Rosewick Bay, and as Siôn and Mattie investigate an ill-fated love affair from a bygone era, they begin a romance of their own, one that will hopefully escape the tragedy Mattie’s ancestor suffered.

But the ghosts aren’t the only ones with secrets, and the things Siôn and Mattie are keeping from each other threaten to tear them apart. And all the while, the dead are biding their time, because the curse of Rosewick Bay has never been broken. If the ghosts are seen on the streets, local tradition foretells a man will drown before the summer’s end.

Review:

Secrets. This book is all about them. They weave in and out of the story, much like the ghosts that populate Rosewick Bay. Durreson does a flawless job of creating a suitably haunting an atmosphere for this tale of loss, hope, and redemption. The town is by turns quietly unsettling and incredibly peaceful, reflecting where each character is at in the story itself as it moves forward.  

Sion and Mattie, both individually and as a couple, are very relatable. An easy match to get behind. Their relationship runs parallel to that of the ghosts that haunt them, Matthew and Joshua . The ghosts themselves are as enthralling as the main characters, and I found myself grieving for them, even as my heart unfolded with hope for Sion and Mattie.

On the surface, Mattie is the sun to Sion’s darkness, but it becomes evident that things aren’t always as they seem – not for these two, not for the town, and not for the ghosts that haunt them all. Everybody has things they hide, even from themselves, and that’s what this story is really about: confronting the most painful parts of our past in order to reclaim the future that we are sometimes determined to cheat ourselves out of, before it’s too late.

What you might not like: I really feel there is a place in this genre for quietly passionate relationships, the sexy parts of which are left to the reader’s imagination.

However, I know some romance readers are very attached to steam on page. If that is the case, this is not the book for you. While Mattie and Sion are tender and gentle and flirtatious and obviously falling in love, the more physical parts are not described or included in the text.

What you will love: Simply put, Durreson is an amazing author. I enjoy her style and technique, and haven’t been disappointed yet by any of her books, though this one is standout for me. The truly haunting ghost story, and the feelings it draws from you, aren’t easily forgettable. I know I still find myself shaking off a tiny shiver when I stop and think about the atmosphere Durreson has created, and the flawed, lovable characters she has populated it with. And that cover….GEEZ!!!!


 

Red Magic ShoesSara Beth loves to read, write about what she reads, and really, really loves to talk about what she’s reading. So, she looks forward to many hours of conversation with you all surrounding books, books, and more books. Connect via: Twitter: @sarathebeth

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Authors in Audio on 11/16: Santino Hassell and Karen Stivali talk NaNoWriMo

Hello! And welcome back to Authors in Audio, a podcast special at Binge on Books which features authors Santino Hassell and Karen Stivali answering reader questions in audio! You asked and they answered and through the end of the year, this new series of Authors in Audio will captivate you.

Today they’re focusing on NaNoWriMo and have a message for you about this special month before starting…

karen-and-santino-a-in-a-for-b-on-b-long-version
Hi Everyone,
 
We wanted to include a note to go along with this podcast because it’s not a typical one.
 
As all of you know, Santino and I both have very busy schedules, but we do our best to make time to record these podcasts because we enjoy them and hope they’re helpful to our listeners. We’d intended to record this special NaNo edition of the podcast last Tuesday, before I left town for a conference, but we wound up listening to the election results instead and, despite our efforts, neither of us felt up to recording anything that night.
 
We recorded this while I was away and had some unfortunate technical difficulties, so the sound is off in a few places which makes it sound like I’m answering questions before Santino asked them. Since this is about NaNo we wanted to get the podcast to you in November because, in spite of the fact that both of us have been derailed from NaNo this year, for the past 5-6 years we’ve both found NaNo to be an incredibly positive experience.
 
Apologies for any parts that are hard to hear and for the fact that we’re not quite our normal peppy selves.
 
Thanks for tuning in to listen to our podcasts. I’m always grateful for the laughs we have while recording these. We hope you can laugh along with us.
 
All the best,
Karen and Santino


author photo Karen Stivali 2015

Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies, and fictional British men. She’s also the multiple award-winning author of contemporary and erotic romances. She writes novels about love…like real life, only hotter.

Connect with Karen in all the places: 

Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Website

Pinterest  |  Goodreads

You can hear Karen and writing pal, Santino Hassell, in audio in earlier recordings of their podcast series, Authors in Audio!


Santino Hassell

Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into an unlikely romance author.

Santino writes queer romance that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.

Connect with Santino: 

Web | Facebook | Twitter

Patreon | Goodreads | Amazon

You can hear Santino and writing pal, Karen Stivali, in audio in earlier recordings of their podcast series, Authors in Audio!


 

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Maze-Born Trouble by Ginn Hale: The Best Kind of Audio Post

Hello! And welcome to Binge on Books! Today I’m giddy because I have THE BEST post for you: one that features a new book by Ginn Hale! Yessssssss. That’s right. Today marks the release of Maze-Born Trouble, Ginn Hale’s latest, featuring a sci-fi gumshoe, a dead girl, and a black hole? What? Yes. She’s here to tell us all about Maze-Born Trouble in audio with an excerpt of her reading from the book itself and a candid reader-inspired Q&A.

But first! Let’s learn all about this hot new release… Read More

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Authors in Audio on 11/1: Santino Hassell and Karen Stivali talk sex!

Hello! And welcome back to Authors in Audio, a podcast special at Binge on Books which features authors Santino Hassell and Karen Stivali answering reader questions in audio! You asked and they answered and through the end of the year, this new series of Authors in Audio will captivate you!

Today’s theme: SEX and it covers questions about everything from positions to lube.

So sit back, relax, and get ready for Santino Hassell and Karen Stivali in…Authors in Audio, 2016 Week 3!


 

 


author photo Karen Stivali 2015

Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies, and fictional British men. She’s also the multiple award-winning author of contemporary and erotic romances. She writes novels about love…like real life, only hotter.

Connect with Karen in all the places: 

Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Website

Pinterest  |  Goodreads

You can hear Karen and writing pal, Santino Hassell, in audio in earlier recordings of their podcast series, Authors in Audio!


Santino Hassell

Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into an unlikely romance author.

Santino writes queer romance that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.

Connect with Santino: 

Web | Facebook | Twitter

Patreon | Goodreads | Amazon

You can hear Santino and writing pal, Karen Stivali, in audio in earlier recordings of their podcast series, Authors in Audio!


Please follow and like us:
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Countdown to Halloween: 13 Songs & Films that Get Me Stoked for Halloween by J.C. Lillis

countdown-with-bob

So I said I would do this list and then I realized I don’t read scary books, listen to scary songs, or watch scary movies as a general rule. I love Halloween but I mainly associate it with frantic yet meticulous construction of whatever costume the kid’s dreamed up, followed by a week of sneaking PB cups and fun-size Mounds from her candy stash. But writers are known for their Olympic-level talent for fudging it, so here goes.

Songs:

“Spooky” / Classics IV. I actually hate this song but I have a Pavlovian reaction to it: I hear the first chords and instantly think Halloween. I don’t know if it deserves its status as a Halloween classic, since the girl in the song is not particularly spooky, just sort of a flake. It kills me that the guy spends the whole song yammering about how she winks at other dudes and plays games with his heart, and yet he’s planning a Halloween proposal, like that’ll solve all their problems. Honestly I just ride out the song to hear the little “whooo!” ghostie sounds in the verses.

“Monster” / Lady Gaga. When the Fame Monster EP came out, everyone was creaming themselves over “Bad Romance” and “Dance in the Dark” and this song never got its due, despite being danceable and hilarious and awesome. If I had a Halloween party, which I won’t because that would involve cleaning and decorating, this would be #1 on my playlist.

“Time of the Season” / The Zombies. This is not technically a Halloween song but for some reason I always associate it with summer’s slow slide into fall. Plus one time my mom told me she used to think the lyrics were “it’s the time of the season for zombieeeeees,” like the Zombies were pulling a Wang Chung and name-dropping themselves in the song, so every time I hear that line I picture zombies doing jazz hands.

“Burn-Up” / Siouxsie & the Banshees. The entire Peepshow album is supremely freaky and makes an excellent Halloween soundtrack. I picked this one because it’s like a haunted hayride in song form.

“Monster Mash” / Bobby Pickett. This used to be a “dragged to the seventh-grade Halloween dance against your will” song, and then I used it in “Memory Hill” for the Lead Me into Darkness antho, and now it’s a “jaded ghost mourning unrequited love” song. It’s much nicer now.

“Red Right Hand” / Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. Like, I should’ve just said “Nick Cave” in general, because Nick Cave could turn “Walking on Sunshine” into a murder ballad, but this song is pretty much the pinnacle of Nick Cave creepiness. It’s about this evil rich power-mad dude who gains followers by preying on fear and making false promises but actually thinks of people as “microscopic cogs in his catastrophic plan,” not that someone like that could actually rise to power today.

 

 

Movies:

What We Do in the Shadows. Definitely in the top three funniest vampire mockumentaries set in New Zealand.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula. After you watch WWDitS, you might as well watch this one, because the number of laughs per minute is roughly the same. (More in scenes where Gary Oldman turns into a hundred rats or Keanu Reeves has to act British.)

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. When I was a little Catholic schoolgirl I used to want to spend Halloween with Linus in his most-sincere pumpkin patch, waiting for the elusive deity to show his giant orange face. I hope Linus is now a comfortable Great Pumpkin agnostic who counsels other young believers through crises of faith.

The Addams Family. This is the film that launched my epic, invincible crush on Anjelica Huston. We rewatched it recently and it still holds up pretty well. I think we base like 60% of our parenting choices on “what would Gomez and Mortitica do?”

The Others. This is the only scary movie I ever bought on DVD. I like how old-fashioned it is, how it relies on psychology and the power of suggestion instead of gore and special effects. It’s so well made I don’t even mind the “they’ve been dead all alonnnnnng!” ending. (No spoiler warning for movies more than 15 years old.)

Return of the Living Dead. I can take or leave most things zombie, but how can you not love a film with 1) character names like Scuz, Trash, and Spider, 2) dialogue that contains multiple references to “rabid weasels,” and 3) a scene where the zombies eat the paramedics and then radio to “send more paramedics”? (I just found out there’s this band from Leeds called Send More Paramedics, which is the best thing I’ve heard in at least two days.)

Shaun of the Dead. The other exception to my anti-zombie rule. That scene where they’re arguing over which records to throw at the zombies—I can see someone being exactly that nerdy, and that someone is me.


J.C. Lillis is the author of contemporary YA novels HOW TO REPAIR A MECHANICAL HEART, WE WON’T FEEL A THING, and the upcoming A&B, plus various other stories about fandom, friendship, love, and art. She lives in Baltimore with her patient family, a possibly haunted dollhouse, and a cat who intends to eat her someday.

More about J.C. and her AWESOME books:

How to Repair a Mechanical Heart: amzn.to/1rM486A

We Won’t Feel a Thing: http://amzn.to/1mndD6m

A&B: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32296251-a-b?from_search=true

website: jclillis.com

twitter: twitter.com/jclillis

instagram: instagram.com/jclillis

facebook: facebook.com/jclillisbooks

pinterest: pinterest.com/jclillis


 

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