Dianne’s Throwback Thursday – Book Style

Last week, the list of my Top Ten Books of 2016 was published at It’s About The Book. As always when attempting to create such a list, I was left in a quandary. How the heck was I supposed to narrow down the dozens of terrific reads from last year to a list consisting of merely ten? I decided to feature new-to-me authors, as well as debut authors. After decisively picking some books that fell into those categories, I actually closed my eyes and pointed to a panel of about 20 books to round out my ten. What I’m presenting today and over the next few months are some of those other “top ten” books. Today we have: The Arrangement, by Felice Stevens, and Beloved Unmasked, by Brita Addams. My reviews for both are linked in this post. I hope you’ll check out ALL of my picks! Until next time, happy reading!! 🙂

Dianne

 

Dianne’s Best of 2016

It's About The Book Badge

 

dianne-tbtbs-1-19-2017-beloved-unmasked-britta-addamsSummary: Born in 1898 to a heartless prostitute in Storyville, the red-light district of New Orleans, David comes into the world as Picayune, a name meaning “of little value” or as his mother reminds him, “nothing.”

In the early 20th century brothels and clubs, his love of music sustains young Pic until a fortuitous meeting places him on the road to respectability, and Pic reinvents himself as David Reid.

As David realizes happiness for the first time, conscription forces his friend and first love, Spencer Webb, into the Great War. A telegram from the War Department deals a staggering blow and interrupts David’s pursuit of a law degree. He must gather his wits and move forward. While his future looks bright, specters from Storyville return.

The past holds both pain and love, and facing it head-on might destroy David or give him the freedom to live the life he has dreamed.

Here is my review on Goodreads

dianne-tbtbs-1-19-2017-the-arrangement-audioSummary:  Carter Haywood lives for the weekends – specifically the one weekend every month when he escapes real life, with all the pressures of work and caring for his special needs brother, to do whatever he wants, with whomever he wants. Sex is only a release; he’s not looking for love, a relationship or even a second night with the same man, until he walks into a bar and finds someone who makes leaving it all behind impossible. After one incredibly passionate encounter, he breaks his rule and goes back. He needs to see this man again. And again.

Damaged goods. That’s all Reed Kincaide sees and hears when he looks in the mirror. Anxiety and ADHD define his life and he’s learned to keep people at a distance, never letting them get close enough to know who he really is. When Carter proposes a monthly weekend of sex without strings, it’s the ideal arrangement for him. Or so he thinks. Every month, leaving Carter proves to be more and more difficult. It’s not only the intensely hot sex they have in their hotel suite; Reed wonders about the secret life Carter refuses to share.

As months pass and they grow closer Reed finds himself falling for Carter, but he needs more than hurried hugs and farewell kisses. He wants it all. Letting Reed into his carefully constructed family life could upset Carter’s whole world, but it might be the risk he’s finally willing to take, if it means keeping Reed. Once bodies are engaged, the heart is sure to follow, and Carter and Reed discover that holding on to each other is the first step in letting go of the past.

©2016 Felice Stevens (P)2016 Felice Stevens

You can find my review here: Audible Review

 

 

Holiday spotlight 2016 – Anthologies

This list contains all of the holiday anthologies that I have found for 2016.  Some are new for 2016, some are ones previously released. Enjoy.

Anthologies

WishComeTrueAnthology_HighresWish Come True 
Authors: Keira Andrews, Joanna Chambers, Amy Jo Cousins, Megan Erickson, Suki Fleet, Kaje Harper, and Anyta Sunday
Publisher: Boys in our Books
Release Date: December 1, 2015
Purchase Links: Amazon buy

Proceeds will be donated to Lost-N-Found Youth , an Atlanta-based nonprofit corporation whose mission is to take homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youths to age 26 off the street and transition them into more permanent housing.

“A Very English Christmas” by Keira Andrews
Isaac and David have created a new life together outside the Amish world. Living “English,” they’ve left behind the rigid, isolated community where they discovered their forbidden love. Staying with Isaac’s older brother in San Francisco, they yearn for a home—and bed—of their very own. As they experience the bright lights and merry carols of modern Christmas for the first time, can they make their holiday wishes come true?

“Mr. Perfect’s Christmas” by Joanna Chambers
Sam Warren’s new job hasn’t been going so well so the last thing he’s in the mood for is the obligatory office Christmas party, particularly since Nick Foster’s going to be there. Nick–the guy whose shoes Sam has been trying to fill–seems to take very opportunity to point out where Sam’s going wrong. But when Sam receives an unexpected Secret Santa gift at the party, he’s forced to question his assumptions about his rival. Could it be that he’s been misinterpreting Nick’s actions all along? And is it possible that his reluctant attraction to Nick is reciprocated?

“The Christmas Ship” by Amy Jo Cousins
When a twink who’s finally ready to grow up accidentally catfishes a college football player headed to the NFL, it’s going to take a lot of honesty and all the faith they can muster in their own One True Pairing to set this Christmas ship sailing.

“That Thing” by Megan Erickson
Helping his wedding planner sister work an event is not Devin Master’s idea of what he wants to do on his winter break from college. But saying no to his sister isn’t in his wheelhouse, which is why he finds himself embedded in a drama-filled wedding. His first task? Babysit the “troublesome” best man.
Adrian Alvarez wants to do just about anything on New Year’s Eve except attending his best friend’s wedding. Ever since Adrian came out, he’s been shunned in his hometown. By everyone but his best friend, Tony. Which is why he finds himself trudging through the airport to fulfill his best man duties. He doesn’t expect to find out his ride to the hotel is a hot blond with a cocky grin.
Devin can’t get involved with a member of the wedding party, or his sister will kill him, and Adrian just wants to lay low and not draw attention to himself. But neither can resist the chemistry between them and they have to decide if they are willing to ignite or let their attraction fizzle out.

“Just Like Heaven” by Suki Fleet
One rainy night in December, David helps a busker with pretty eyes get his stolen money back. He doesn’t imagine the strong attraction he feels is mutual. But after overcoming his shyness, David discovers Jess is definitely interested.
Jess just isn’t interested in anything but a one night stand. Or maybe two. Falling for David is definitely not part of his plan. But when David gets trapped in a snowstorm the night before Christmas Eve, Jess realises a night or two is never going to be enough.

“Not Your Grandfather’s Magic” by Kaje Harper
A month away from Zeb Crowe’s twenty-first birthday — just a month before the ceremony that will awaken his psychic heritage — Zeb’s grandfather predicts cryptically, “Hold your mind and heart ready, and something good will come to you.” Shortly afterward, Zeb meets Matt, a smart, gawky, unexpectedly appealing guy who might warm the lonely corners of his heart. But is Matt really the “something good” his grandfather predicted? And is it fair to get close to him, when very soon Zeb’s whole life will change? If Zeb’s dad wasn’t missing, or his grandfather wasn’t such an enigmatic old bastard, his path to love, or power, would be so much clearer.

“Bottle Boys” by Anyta Sunday
Benjamin Otto is a bottle of liquid luck. Good looks. Good brain. Whatever the challenge: good odds. Except, what happens when those odds change?
Dad’s had enough bankrolling Ben and requests him to get a job. The challenge: make enough money to finance Christmas or face telling his little brother the holidays are dead.
Then there’s Sebastian. The guy from his politics class who is always coming in second after him. The guy who steals Ben’s idea to collect bottles for quick cash. The guy who makes Ben wonder if any amount of luck will be enough to win him what he really wants…

Home For the Holidays Anthology 2015Home for the Holidays M/M Romance  Anthology
Authors: SJ Himes, Jenna Kendrick, Heather C Leigh, Liv Rancourt, Felice Stevens
Publication date:  November 29, 2015
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Blurb: Home can be a person as well as a place. Everyone deserves a home for the holidays, as the stories in this collection affirm.

The Eighth Night by Jenna Kendrick

Going home for the holiday only to find his parents have made other plans, Kai Meyers is thrilled to reunite with an old friend. Disowned by his religious family, Ari Fisher is used to being treated like a boy toy rather than a boyfriend, and now he only has eight days to reveal his secrets to Kai.

24-Hour Hold by Heather C. Leigh

Detectives Damon Porter and Anderson Malloy are now partners at Denver’s Major Case Unit. The problem is, they used to be boyfriends, and now they’re feeling anything but friendly towards each other.

Learning to Love by Felice Stevens

Returning home for the holiday, caterer Gideon Marks tried hard to push away his high school crush. But Rabbi Jonah Fine wouldn’t let him run again, or keep the secret Gideon’s tried so desperately to hide.

Saving Silas by SJ Himes

Paramedic Gael Dominic wasn’t expecting much from the holidays. Blood, death, and loneliness were constants. So when tragedy puts a wounded Silas in his path, Gael takes a chance on his alleyway angel and love.

Christmas in LaLa Land by Liv Rancourt

For a Danaan sidhe like Aron, touching a human has consequences, while Damian’s hiding some serious scars behind his smile. A holiday trip to LA forces them to choose between acting on their attraction or giving up on love because of the past.

Proceeds from Home for the Holidays are being donated to the Ali Forney Center in New York City to help homeless LGBTQ youth.

**Final word count estimated at 110K***

Boughs of Evergreen: A Holiday Anthology (Combined Edition)

boughs-of-evergreen-combined-anthology-coverBoughs of Evergreen is a collection of 22 short stories celebrating the holiday season in all its diversity. Penned by authors from the UK, the USA, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, these are tales of the young and the not-so-young from many different walks of life.

Themes of family, friendship and romance take readers on a journey through some of the major holidays, both past and present, including Thanksgiving, Advent, St. Lucia Day, Hanukkah, Saturnalia, Winter Solstice, Yule, Christmas and New Year. In each we find at the very least hope, and often love, peace and happiness.

Proceeds from sales of this anthology will be donated to The Trevor Project. The Trevor Project is the leading national organization [USA] providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24. For more information, visit: http://www.thetrevorproject.org.  amazonBuyButton

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THE STORIES:

“A Friend for Christmas” – J P Walker
“A Midnight Clear” – Debbie McGowan
“From All of Us to All of You” – Ofelia Gränd
“Homme for the Holidays” – Jonathan Penn
“Kiss Me At Kwanzaa” – L.L. Bucknor
“Lion’s Hero” – Alexis Woods
“One Nightstand” – Rick Bettencourt
“Shiny Things” – Amy Spector
“The Bard and his Boyfriend” – Kathleen Hayes
“The Christmas Present” – Larry Benjamin
“X-Mas Cake: A Modern Fairytale” – Raine O’Tierney
“A Christmas Tale” – Hans M Hirschi
“A Family Christmas” – Terry Kerr
“A Little Christmas Magic” – K.C. Faelan
“Always Have, Always Will” – Amelia Mann
“An Angel in Eyeliner” – Hunter Frost
“Boyfriend Goes Home” – Laura Susan Johnson
“Christmas Commitment” – Shayla Mist
“Coming in from the Cold” – Ava Penn
“Holidays with Drum and Bell!” – Matthias Williamson
“Te Amo, You Mushrooms” – S.H. Allan
“The Invasion of Tork” – Claire Davis and Al Stewart

Candle in the Dark Anthology Belthir Coatsworth Moreton Holden SparrowCandle in the Dark: A Holiday Anthology
Authors: Gabriel Belthir (Editor), William Holden, Dahlia K. Bloom, Erin Sheppard, Angelia Sparrow , J. Scott Coatsworth 
Publisher:Inkstained Succubus Press
Publication date: November 26, 2014
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Blurb: In almost all traditions, winter has been a time to huddle around the fire and be thankful for those the fire is shared with. The holidays grew out of a need to celebrate that time, from Christmas to Chanukah to Solstice. The longest night of the year has always held some special mystery, and we’re proud to present you with several stories of how those mysteries bear fruit.
Patrick receives a mysterious invitation to dine at the most exclusive restaurant for men. His server, Gio, encourages him to Savor the experience.
Lost in the woods, Lucas suffers injuries from a mistaken identity. Mark is all too happy to help the angel, though perhaps the lone shifter might have found something special on Winter Solstice.
Hevik decides to Welcome Winter on a foreign planet when he feels nostalgic for lost family. Finding a Snow Queen introduces him to some new experiences, and a new lover.
Kayden prepares for the yule celebration half-heartedly, missing his lover Colby who’s been a Long Time Gone. The village bands together to encourage him, settling them all off on the Mistletoe Hunt.
A mysterious stranger saves Heath, turning what would have been his last new year’s into the beginning of a strange tale. Every time Finn walks into Heath’s life…it’s going to be an interesting New Year.

ChestnutsRoasting4x6Chestnuts Roasting Anthology

Authors: by Toni Griffin (Author), Angel Martinez (Author), Silvia Violet (Author), Freddy MacKay (Author), Catherine Dair (Illustrator), Erika O WIlliams (Editor)

Publisher:  Mischief Corner Books, LLC; First edition

Publication date: November 27, 2014

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Blurb:  Christmas means different things to everyone, but most often it’s all about pulling loved ones close and brightening the gloom. The fire’s crackling. The snow is piling up outside, even if it’s only in your dreams. Time to snuggle up with some cocoa and some stories carefully crafted by the Mischief Corner Crew to warm hearts and cockles.

Wreath of Fire: Smokey Mountains Bears 2 – Toni Griffin
Michael’s trying to start a new life away from his abusive father, but he’s drifting and not sure what he wants. When he accidentally starts a kitchen fire, the hot new fireman who comes to the rescue is not only another bear shifter. He’s Michael’s mate. Michael desperately needs to get his act together and figure out what he wants if he has any hope of claiming the bear fated to be his.

A Christmas Cactus for the General – Angel Martinez
Exiled to Earth for perhaps the worst failure in Irasolan history, General Teer must assimilate or die. Earth is too warm, too wet, too foreign, but he does the best he can even though human males are loud, childish louts whom he can’t imitate successfully. When a grieving seaplane pilot strikes up a strange and uneasy friendship with him, he finds he may have been too quick to judge human males. They are strange to look at, but perhaps not as unbearable as he thought.

Holly Jolly – Silvia Violet
I’m not gay. I just notice men sometimes. Everybody does, right? I notice Dane a lot, like every time I’m near him, but just because I think he’s an attractive man that doesn’t mean I like him, does it?

I’m also not a fan of Christmas. Too many years “celebrating” with my Bible-thumping family ruined the holiday for me. So what if I envy all these cheerful souls dashing about with smiles on their faces? I don’t have to like Christmas, do I? If anyone could get me in the Christmas spirit, it would be Dane with his easy, relaxed manner and his gorgeous smile. If that were going to happen, though, I’d have to find the courage to talk to him and to admit that maybe I don’t know myself all that well after all.

Snow on Spirit Bridge – Freddy MacKay
Alone in Japan, Finni is struggling against the constant distrust, avoidance, and xenophobia he experiences every day. He misses home. He misses his family. Nightmares come all too frequently because of the stress, and well, Christmas is just not Christmas in Japan. Not how he understands it.

Distressed by how miserable Finni is, his roommate, Mamoru, offers to be Finni’s family for Christmas. Little does he know how much one agreement would change everything between them, because both of them kept secrets neither ever dreamed were true.

Christmas Delights Anthology RJ ScottChristmas Delights

Click logo below to access this lovely anthology.

Love Lane Books icon

Love Lane Books is proud to present you with a collection of free Christmas stories to celebrate this special time of year.

With writing from a selection of new authors and some from authors you may already know.

 

The Book includes the following stories:-

  • RJ Scott – Deefur and the Great Mistletoe Incident
  • Amber Kell – Christmas Tree Magic
  • Meredith Russell – Spiced Apple and Cinnamon
  • Diane Adams – Christmas Lightning
  • Kay Berrisford – Gifts from the Tree
  • Nicole Dennis – Christmas Promise
  • Caitlin Ricci – A Jaguar for Christmas
  • John Wiley – Once you go Black Friday
  • SA Garcia – Paid with a Full Moon
  • A.T. Weaver – Josh’s Christmas Angel
  • Valynda King – Christmas in Hawaii
  • Christopher John – Two for Hooking
  • Francis Gideon – Mistletoe and YouTube
  • Allan Jay – Christmas Angel
  • Aisling Mancy – Joyeux Noel
  • Gary Hendrickson – Our Best Christmas
  • Hollis Shiloh – The Christmas Mansion
  • Tom Alexander – Ivy Park
  • AJ Henderson – Christmas Reunion
  • Abigail Winters – Love Delayed
  • JC Wallace – Waiting for Snow
Many of the titles above were first released in anthologies.  Several publishing companies release holiday anthologies every year.  One of those being Dreamspinner Press.  You can buy them as a set until November 25, 2015.  After that the titles will show under the anthology, but are also sold individually.  The best deals on these anthologies is to buy the set early – in October.  The price increases in November and December.

Dreamspinner Press  has their Advent Calendar anthologies (Click on the cover to go to the buy link):

2016-advent-calendar-daily-delivery-package-bah-humbugCover artist: Paul Richmond  new-icon-2016

Genres:  Contemporary / Holiday / Mythology / Other Paranormal / Urban Fantasy / Vampires /Werewolves/Shapeshifters / Western

Summary:  There’s always that one guy for whom the holiday season is anything but jolly. It’s a bother, a trial, or in a few cases, a downright misery, but in the end, the holidays bring hope, love, and cheer to even the darkest of days. What else but love would get Scrooge willingly under the mistletoe?

 

Dreamspinner Press 2015 Advent Calendar SleighRideLGDescription:

The course of true love can be a bumpy, up-and-down, and sideways ride, but the end-of-the-year holidays are perfect for happy endings! Whether they’re finding a new romance or rekindling an old one, the men in these stories get some help from the magic of the season. Some of them might need a miracle to muddle through the conflicts and confusion that arise, but luckily for them, ‘tis the season. From naughty fun, to heartfelt and heart-wrenching reunions, to out-of-this-world adventures, these guys are in for quite a ride.

 

Dreamspinner Press Celebrate anthology 2014Description:

Buone Feste, Felices Fiestas, Frohe Feiertage, Joyeuses Fêtes, Happy Holidays! The end-of-the-year holidays bring celebrations of all kinds, and romance is at an all-time high. Take a trip around the world and enjoy these stories of life, love, and happiness. Your Christmas present to yourself!

 

 

 

 

Dreamspinner Press Advvent Calendar 2013 HeartwarmingLGDescription:

The holidays bring first dates, new love, reunions, and a renewal of devotion to a relationship. Romance can warm even the most cynical or sad of hearts, and these stories will get you in the mood for love. Your Christmas present to yourself!

 

 

 

 

 

Dreamspinner Press Advent Calendar 2012 EvergreenLGDescription:

2012 Advent Calendar
Edited by Lynn West

When it comes to romance, ageless images are carried forever in your heart: A candle in the window burning bright. Warmth billowing from an old stone hearth. Snowflakes falling from the night sky under a full moon. Twinkle lights glinting in a lover’s eyes.

Romance during the winter holidays is evergreen, and these stories will get you in the mood for love.

 

Dreamspinner Press Advent Calendar 2011 IllBeHomeforChristmasLGThis Anthology is no longer available as a set.  You can still buy the individual titles.

Description:

It’s the most fervent dream of the holidays: to have a life full of blooming romance and enduring devotion with love, joy, and even a touch of lust to warm the cold winter nights. No matter what holidays are celebrated, the idiom holds true: home is where the heart is.

 

 

 

Dreamspinner Press Advent Calendar 2010 NaughtyorNiceLGThis Anthology is no longer available as a set.  You can still buy the individual titles.

Description:

Santa’s got a list, and he’s checking it twice. Will he tell if his lover’s been naughty or nice? In these stories, the holidays will shine brightly whether with sweetest love, cackling laughter, or blistering passion.

 

 

 

 

Dreamspinner Press Advent Calendar 2009 MistletoeMadnessLGThis Anthology is no longer available as a set.  You can still buy the individual titles.

Description:

The winter holidays are full of holiday spirit, friends, and family. Step under the mistletoe for a kiss and enjoy these stories of love around the holidays—from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day—tales warm enough to melt snow, ice, and men’s hearts.

 

 

 

Dreamspinner Press Advent Calendar 2008 ChristmasDreamsLGThis Anthology is no longer available as a set.  You can still buy the individual titles.

1st Annual Dreamspinner Press Advent Calendar 

 

 

Riptide Publishing Holiday anthologies

(Click on the cover to go to the buy link)

Home for the Holidays (A Holiday Charity Bundle)

HomeForTheHolidays_500x750eBook ISBN:
978-1-62649-082-6
eBook Release:
Monday, November 18, 2013
eBook Formats:
pdf, mobi, html, epub
Print ISBN:
978-1-62649-083-3
Print release:
Monday, December 2, 2013
This collection contains:
How I Met Your Father by L.B. Gregg
Long the Mile by Ally Blue
Lost and Found by Z.A. Maxfield
Christmas Kitsch by Amy Lane

 

Share the Love: A Holiday Charity Bundle

STL_BundleCover_0 Riptide PublishingeBook Release:
Monday, December 1, 2014
eBook Formats:
pdf, mobi, html, epub
This collection contains:
Three of Hearts by Kelly Jamieson
Lucky Strike by Jane Davitt
Three the Hard Way by Sydney Croft

 


 


LovefortheHolidays_600x900_0Love for the Holidays
: A Charity Bundle Benefiting the GLBT National Help Center

Release:  November 30, 2015

 This collection contains:

Rebound Remedy by Christine d’Abo (releasing November 9)

Stranded by Helen Kay Dimon (releasing November 23)

Winter Oranges by Marie Sexton (releasing November 30)

 

holidaybundle_500x750_0

new-icon-2016

Riptide’s 2016 Charity Bundle – Benefiting The Trevor Project.

Each year, Riptide Publishing releases a holiday collection in support of an LGBTQ charity.

Twenty percent of the proceeds of this title will be donated to The Trevor Project.

Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film TREVOR, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.

To learn more about this charity or to donate directly, please visit their website: thetrevorproject.org.

This collection would not be possible without the talent and generosity of its authors, who have brought us the following holiday stories:

 

MLR Press  

(Click on the cover to go to the buy link)

Holiday 2011   HeartLogo-MLR

Holiday 2012  HeartLogo-MLR