Category Archives: Reviews and Features

Kicking off the BANE Blog Tour! Check out the first few installments of REFUGE, a STRAIN-universe short!

Today we’re kicking off the BANE blog tour with four stops.

Segments of REFUGE, a feel-good (yes, you heard that right, I can write fluff!) STRAIN-universe short, can be found at the following stops:

My Fiction Nook (Chapter 1, Part 1)
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words (Chapter 1, Part 2)

I’m also stopping by:

On Top Down Under
Coffee and Porn in the Morning

Comment at all of these stops for a chance to win store credit from Riptide!

BANE is now also available for purchase on the following sites:

Barnes & Noble
All Romance eBooks

Be sure to keep following the BANE blog tour each day for more chances to enter to win Riptide store credit, and further installments of REFUGE.


The weapon that nearly destroyed humanity may be their only salvation.

Rhys Cooper’s unique immunity to all three strains of the virus that nearly annihilated humanity has brought him the unwanted attention of Clean Zone scientists. They’ve summoned him for testing—ostensibly in the hopes of finding a vaccine—but Rhys’s partner, Darius Murrell, has good reason not to trust any government. He and his comrades in Delta Company were unwitting test subjects for Project Juggernaut, the military experiment that gave them superhuman abilities and unleashed the pandemic. Doubting the government’s intentions, Delta Company refuses to let Rhys go alone.

Fear of infection has kept Zach Houtman and his lover Nico Fernández apart for a decade. They meet rarely, just long enough to coordinate their spying on the head of the government’s virus research division. Secretary Littlewood is a vicious predator, and they suspect he’s trying to acquire the strain of the virus that would make him superhuman. To stop him, they need the perfect bait: Rhys.

For Rhys, helping them might cost him his relationship with Darius—or his life. For Zach and Nico, even if their plan succeeds, they still face the ultimate question: can infected and uninfected people ever live together safely?

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Scavenging in the Post-Apocalyptic World Guest Post

As I mentioned in my post on Monday, this week the But What Are They Eating blog is featuring Strain in their FoodFic Friday feature! The post is live now, so head on over!

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One week until JUGGERNAUT #mmromance #postapocalyptic @RiptideBooks

First of all, did anyone else know the Reviews by Jessewave site is back? They are! And they’re under new management. Today they gave Juggernaut a really great review, and they’re not the only ones. Kazza K at On Top Down Under had some really lovely things to say. Check out what readers are saying over at Goodreads, too.

So. Here it is, the one week countdown! That’ll be less than a week, if you pre-ordered from Riptide, of course, and there’s still time to do that.

The blog tour is going to kick off on Monday the 10th, and you’ll want to be sure to follow that because I’ll be giving away early copies of Bane. I’ll have a few deleted scenes from Juggernaut in there, a couple sneak peeks at Bane, and several posts about the pre- and immediately post-apocalyptic society.

Also on Friday the 7th I’ll be featured over at in their But What Are They Eating (food in fiction) feature! Yes, I had to take a moment to compose myself and then double-check that they really knew what they were asking for when they offered me a shot at guest blogging about a series based around a zombie(ish) apocalypse. No, I didn’t go for the obvious cannibal angle and instead I’ll be talking about scavenging in a world where mass production and availability of food is no longer happening.

Yay! So excited! I can’t wait to be able to share this book with you all!

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5 stars to Spokes by PD Singer #mm #romance #cycling #review

SpokesSpokes by P.D. Singer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve been looking forward to reading this book in its entirety for a long time, having gotten a sneak-peek at the first part of it a while back. I couldn’t wait to discover how things turned out between Luca and Christopher.

I’m pleased to say that the rest of the book was everything I wished for and more. Luca and Christopher are both solid, sympathetic, and flawed characters. They both make mistakes, they both react badly to things, not everything is sunshine and roses and that is absolutely perfect. The subject of closeted athletes is not a new one in m/m romance by any stretch of the imagination, but the way P.D. Singer comes at it makes it fresh for a couple reasons.

First, because cycling. I mean, how many of us who don’t do that particular sport know the first damn thing about it? P.D. has this knack (one I would love to acquire) of taking a subject the reading audience won’t be familiar with (she’s done it before with forestry and rock-climbing and archery) and making us understand it without feeling like we’re getting an info-dump. She works it in very organically, and I love that. I was reading from the POV of a character who knew the sport intimately, and I managed to make out most of what he was talking about without being jerked out of the flow of the story. It’s really superbly done.

Second, because realism. Most athlete/sports stories I’ve read deal with relatively safe sports. Cycling is not one of those, and P.D. tackles that head-on. There are a couple moments when you’re just like, “Whoa. This shit is real.” Most of us don’t expect to see serious danger in our sports, so it really grabs you and jolts you out of any sense of complacency about a pretty, neatly-tied-up ending. Which is not to say the characters don’t get their HEA. They do, but they also have some very serious losses along the way.

Another great thing about this book is the MC’s voice in the narration. There are some LOL moments when a witty line slips in so subtly you almost miss it, and I always love that.

So, definitely a book I would recommend. I enjoyed it enormously.

You can buy Spokes from Rocky Ridge BooksAmazonKoboBarnes and Noble, and All Romance eBooks

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Taking care of business before #GRL2013

So, Tuesday I will be heading to Atlanta for my first-ever GayRomLit retreat. I will admit I’m a little nervous because this is the first time since he was born that I will be away from my six-year-old for that long. Until last month at GRNW in Seattle, I’d never been away from him longer than over a single night, and even then he was just a mile away at his grandmother’s house. Now I’m going to be across the country from him for five nights. Eep!

Also, I have absolutely no idea what to expect from GRL. I know I will be on a panel at the writer’s workshop on Wednesday afternoon, the BDSM panel that Sarah Frantz will be moderating. So I’ll have at least one opportunity to make an idiot of myself publicly. I think at least part of my fear is that I didn’t know until very late in the game about the YahooGroup that most of the GRL stuff was being discussed on, so I think I missed some pretty significant announcements and information. Thus, I’m clueless.


But before I go, some business to take care of. In case you have missed my tweets on the subject (and Heidi Belleau’s and Riptide’s) we have a sort of kink meme going on for some audience participation in the third Professor’s Rule book. This book will take us back to the “present day” in James and Carson’s lives, after the short trip into exploring their past in TPR #2. (Yes, I like non-linear storytelling. I feel like it often gives a narrative a sort of mobility that otherwise it wouldn’t have.) It’s time for James to re-unite with his Professor, and also for him to keep his date with menswear salesman Satish. Last week we were taking nominations for the sort of kinks you’d like to see in the next book, and this week we’ve narrowed the list to five and you get to vote on them. Those five are:

1. Voyeurism
2. Fire Play
3. Needle Play
4. Breath Play
5. Sensory Deprivation

You can go here to take the survey. Thanks to The Jeep Diva for hosting this contest.

As for GRL, I will have some items available for free and for purchase there. I will have coupon codes to give away for Inertia, as well coupon codes you can purchase for downloads of Acceleration and Velocity, and for the All-in-One ebook volume of the Impulse trilogy.  I will also have paperbacks of all three books available, 30 of Inertia and 10 each (I think? Maybe 15?) of Acceleration and Velocity. Riptide will also have a free version of Giving an Inch (TPR #1) to hand out, which will include excerpts from An Inch at a Time (TPR #2), Heidi Belleau’s Apple Polisher, and my upcoming release, Strain. So be sure to grab that! For autographs and whatnot, I’ll be in the supporting authors session, not the featured authors. So look for me there!

Annnd I think that is all my business to attend to before I leave, so I’d better get back to researching how to pack a week’s worth of stuff into a carry-on sized suitcase. Fun!

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Filed under Acceleration, Administrative, Announcements, Inertia, News for Released Titles, Reviews and Features, Velocity

Another Honorable Mention from the Rainbow Awards, for Velocity!

Today, the second of five announcements regarding who rated an honorable mention in the Rainbow Awards was released, and Velocity was on the list. 

The quotes from the judges regarding the books have been very rewarding as well.

Re: Acceleration

April: The main character definitely kept me reading. I found myself liking him right from the start. He had character traits that were identifiable within all of us. The writing style also kept me reading, wanting more of the story. The author did a great job with the plot flow. 

and re: Velocity

Christina: Beautiful story, I had feeling of being let into the lives of two men that I came to adore. I finished this story in just hours, so drawn into their romance, the struggles they overcame, and their everyday lives. I was glad to see them get their happy ending and embrace their love and commitment to one another.

For a little self-published trilogy from an author no one had heard of just over a year ago, I figure this is a great showing, whether or not the books become finalists in their category.

Again, if you have a chance, please be sure to stop by the cover contest and vote for Kerry Chin’s gorgeous artwork!


Filed under Acceleration, Announcements, News for Released Titles, Reviews and Features, Velocity

Velocity is on @HEAusatoday! TY @SmexyBooks

So, imagine my surprise when I wake up this morning to see that Mandi at Smexybooks, who regularly rewrites a recommendations column for the Happy Ever After blog, chose to spotlight Velocity as one of her picks this week.

You can see Velocity on the front page here (or at least I can at the moment) and the full column HERE.

Thank you so much, Mandi! This is very exciting for me!

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Subversive Lit. I love it. And this is why.

Power Play: Resistance (Power Play, #1)Power Play: Resistance by Rachel Haimowitz and Cat Grant

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Brilliantly Subversive, Deliberately Horrific (aka: read the freaking subtext)


It took me a long time and a couple read-throughs to digest this book enough to collate my thoughts into the ability to write a review, which I felt really moved to do because I think a lot of people miss the point of this book, both on the positive and the negative end of the spectrum.

If your first reaction to this book is “OMG HAWT I WANT IT” or “OMG AWFUL HOW DARE THEY” – STOP. Stop right now. Step away from the keyboard. Think about it for a while. If those are your first reactions, you have entirely missed the subtext of what is going on here. Go back, re-read, and pay closer attention.

Let’s get one thing straight. As a practitioner of BDSM, I cannot in any way, shape or form call what happens in this book BDSM. BDSM is a consensual practice, and for anyone with a modicum of common sense, “consent” actually means “informed consent.” I mean, let’s look at the acronym RACK: Risk-Aware Consensual Kink. At what point in this process was Bran ever truly “aware” of anything? Much less the risk of what was going on? Since Bran was in no way, shape, or form informed enough to give true consent, I can’t call this BDSM.

Which is the entire freaking point. Calling this a book about BDSM should rightfully offend any practitioner of BDSM. People who practice RACK should be appalled by what happens in this book, because it is a perversion of everything we hold dear. I sure as hell was. But I was appalled with a purpose.

So while parts of this book were undoubtedly erotic, they were erotic on the level of torture porn, not on the level of BDSM and there is a big, big difference.

But it’s so much more than torture porn. It’s an object lesson in why communication is so important in a BDSM and how without communication, BDSM is just abuse. Without communication, there can be no A in RACK. And without the A, there can be no C.

I can’t presuppose the authors’ intent, but it seems very obvious to me, due to the number of subtle-yet-undeniable parallels, that this book was deliberately constructed to be the anti-50SoG. And by that, I don’t mean this is “50SoG done right” as a number of people have called it, because it’s not done right. Not by a long shot. Let’s be very clear about that. In absolutely no sane world should this be considering “right.” If you think this is something to aspire to in your own kinky life and if you’re not horrified by what happens in this book, you’ve absolutely missed the point. Put the book down and educate yourself before you get seriously injured.

This book isn’t a “here’s how it’s really done” gesture of one-upsmanship. It’s far more subversive and subtle. This book conducts a study, by compare and contrast, of why 50SoG DOESN’T AND WOULD NEVER WORK.

Let’s examine just a few of the parallels between the two books.

Okay, Bran isn’t technically a “virgin” but he is very sexually unaware. Up until this point in his life, sex has been merely the scratching of a biological itch. He hasn’t had sex so much as he’s masturbated using other people’s hands and mouths rather than his own fist. He is also, because he’s so busy working and because he doesn’t have a lot of money, very unaware of the world around him. He exists to go to work to buy food to keep existing to go back to work.

2) Billionaire businessman playboy. That one’s easy.

3) A contract. In neither book is the “contract” legally binding because under the law, you can’t consent to be enslaved. Yet both books pass it off as such.

4) Stalker billionaire, whee!! Having met our Ana/Bran once, the billionaire playboy subsequently becomes rather creepily fixated upon her/him.

5) Denial of information. In 50SoG, Christian Grey deliberately and explicitly refuses Ana permission to research the BDSM lifestyle and inform herself about what she’s getting into. In this book, Jonathan denies Bran permission to become informed by 1) assuming he knows more than he does already and 2) denying him the ability to communicate effectively from the get-go.

6) Isolating the sub. In 50SoG, Christian begins to interfere with Ana’s other social relationships, isolating her and keeping her focus upon him. In this book, Jonathan simply cuts Bran off from the world entirely by moving him in.

7) Sub who doesn’t know she/he is a sub who is traumatized by the early S&M activities because he/she doesn’t enjoy it, because it’s forced upon them.

8) Christian ignores Ana’s safeword. Jonathan punishes Bran for using his because he thinks he “knows” whether or not Bran means it (clearly when he went to Dom school, no one ever taught Jonathan that the safeword is there not only for physical but also for emotional distress.)
(hide spoiler)]

Okay. That’s just in the first, what, 25% of the book? Eight rather obvious parallels. That needs to tell us something. The parallels are handled subtly enough so that they’re not immediately apparent or obviously derivative, but they are unmistakably present, and this book is far too well written for that to have been an accident.

The parallels are deliberate. Why are they there? Because the authors are playing Mythbusters. Don’t know what that is? Basically, it’s a TV show that takes urban legends/myths and uses science to deconstruct them by trying to recreate them exactly as they are described and seeing whether or not they work. If they can replicate the results, the myth is confirmed. If they can’t, it’s busted.

With me so far?

In this case, instead of using science to deconstruct the myth of 50SoG, the authors use their real world BDSM knowledge. They recreate the 50SoG scenario and then they absolutely shred it with a cold, hard dose of reality.

One disaster at a time, they show why 50SoG wouldn’t work given the set-up of the situation. And most of that lesson hinges on the absence of communication.

At the end of the book, Bran tells Jonathan “we stopped talking” but what he’s saying there is “we stopped communicating.” Jonathan didn’t allow Bran to communicate at all, and Jonathan didn’t communicate, he pontificated. And without that communication, what you’re left with is abuse. It’s not BDSM, it’s abuse.

This book is not romantic. If it titillates, it should only do so on the most base, crude, voyeuristic level. This book should be considered intellectually horrific (as should 50SoG) and anyone reading it should be deeply, deeply disturbed by it, whether or not they know the first thing about BDSM.

It’s a book about how BDSM without communication is just abuse. Without communication, there can be no informed consent, and without consent, anything that happens is abuse. It simply is. What this book shows us is just how terrible 50SoG is, because it takes that abuse and tries to make it pretty and romantic. In this book, the abuse is not pretty and romantic, and it strips away the pretty, romantic mask from what happens in 50SoG and reveals the ugly underside of what is really going on.

Then it goes on, in the sequel, to turn this lesson on its head and show the flip side, how once communication is established, everything falls into place and works. Once and only once there’s communication, trust and even love can develop, and a beautiful relationship can evolve. But that’s a review for another time.

It’s a brilliant construction, it truly is, and I have to give Ms. Haimowitz and Ms. Grant mad props for being so deftly subversive. I’m only giving four stars because it still makes me cringe and want to read with a hand over my eyes while peering out of the slits between my fingers, but the writing, and the lesson it teaches, is absolutely top-notch.

(This review is copied from GoodReads)

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Check out who made Melanie’s Best Of 2012 list at Joyfully Jay!

Joyfully Jay is recapping the Best of 2012 for each of their reviewers starting today and today was Melanie M.’s turn.

Melanie was the reviewer who read Inertia and Acceleration for JoyfullyJay, and if you haven’t checked out her review of Acceleration, please do so because it was just an amazing review and I was blown away by it. Melanie has put Acceleration on her list of best contemporary books and Inertia on her list of best first novels. So check it out!

Thank you, Melanie, for the generous mentions!

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New Excerpt from Inertia and giveaway at Dark Divas Reviews!

Head over to Dark Divas Reviews to see why AJ is giving Inertia 4.5 Delightful Divas, and enter to win a giveaway! There you will also find an new free read, the steamy Kitchen Floor Scene from Chapter 13 of Inertia. Check it out!

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Filed under Contests, Inertia, News for Released Titles, Reviews and Features

Coming up Monday: a character interview with Gavin!

Monday, October 1 Gavin Hayes from Inertia will be over at Mrs. Condit’s answering reader questions. Gavin has been a bit of an enigma to readers, since Inertia was told from Derrick’s POV, so he decided it was time to step forward and help people get to know him. 😀 There will also be a review and a chance to win a copy of Inertia!

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This is a wonderful review. Leta analyzes some aspects of Derrick that no one else has called out.

Leta Blake

Before I get into the review of the book I just finished reading, I’d like to say that we’re thrilled to report that Top2Bottom Reviews gives Earthly Desires 4.5 out of 5!

“Earthly Desires is a sexy story between two unique and interesting heroes. I loved the way the story was told and enjoyed the fairytale-ish theme of the book itself. It’s full of adventure, romance and it highly entertained this reader throughout the entire book.” 


Inertia by Amelia C. Gormley is the story of Derrick, a man in his early thirties, who has cut himself off from risk, adventure, and relationships after an unfortunate series of circumstances that led him to losing everyone he loved by the time he was twenty-one. Unwilling to experience the crushing pain of loss again, he’s drifted through a pleasant if boring decade of the same old, same old. Until he meets Gavin and…

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Help needed! Character interview questions required!

I’ll be doing a character interview for Gavin from Inertia on October 1. So if you have any questions you’d like to ask of Gavin to get to know him, by all means, share them. The answers will be posted over at Mrs. Condit’s on October 1!

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Deleted scene from Inertia and more!

Today, they’re hosting me over at Coffee and Porn in the Morning where I’ve shared a deleted scene from Inertia. Also, another giveaway! Check it out!


Filed under Inertia, News for Released Titles, Other Authors Blogs, Reviews and Features

Thank you, Leta, for hosting me!

Leta Blake

About Writer Wednesday: a couple of Wednesdays per month I hope to feature another writer and their work. Any writer of any genre is welcome to request participation by sending an email to with the subject title WRITER WEDNESDAY COUNT ME IN! and I will get back to you about the details of participation.

Today we’re talking with Amelia Gormley!


1. Inertia is your first published book. What is your writing background?

I’ve been writing stories since the sixth grade and novels since the eight grade. Sometime not long after I discovered reading, I realized that I could do that, too. I could tell stories, and that I had stories to tell. I got sidetracked for about 25 years diving headfirst into fandom. Original material kinda got drowned out in my head in favor of the omni-present question of “what happened then?” or “what if?” that I…

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Coming Soon: interview by Leta Blake

Coming on Wednesday, I’ll be interviewed over at Leta Blake’s blog. Leta is the co-author of Earthly Desires, the first in a new series of re-imagined fairy tales with an m/m twist, which she’s writing with Keira Andrews. In the interview, I will be discussing some of my upcoming projects and some of the details of working as a self-published author. I will also be giving a little more information into what readers can expect coming up in Acceleration, Book Two of the Impulse trilogy. I’m looking forward to participating!

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Thousand-Word Thursday ficlet

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July 24, 2012 · 1:59 pm