Tag Archives: #ownvoices

Learned Reactions is another powerful POC romance from Jayce Ellis

55364873._SY475_Learned Reactions by Jayce Ellis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jayce Ellis is rapidly becoming an auto read author for me with her superb glimpses into the lives and loves of queer men of colour.

I hadn’t realised when I started this ons that it would have an element of overlapping on the timeframe of book one, but now it makes perfect sense.

Carlton and Deion were already in their strange, mixed up non relationship when they were introduced in Jaq and Matt’s story and here we get the full tale.

And there were times I wanted to shake them both so hard and make them just get over themselves.

But, at the same time, Carlton’s fears that the only solid and permanent rock in his adult life would somehow find him lacking if he admitted he’d been in love with him for as long as Deion had felt the same, were heartbreakingly real.

The narrative never drags though, even while the two are not so much mis-communicating as utterly failing to deal with the serious consequences that pretending to be a family to help Carlton’s adoption of his niece caused.

It’s usually one of my most hated tropes, but Jayce gives it such weight and meaning that it would have felt completely wrong if they had just sat down and talked.

When it eventually happens, the blast point sets off a chain of events which ultimately leads to one of the sweetest chapters in the book and a fabulous ending that actually made me tear up – something I rarely do!

Wait til you read those words that pass between them and see if you can hold out better than I did!

Now, I am soooo hoping Lawrence will be next and we’ll get to find out what happened with Vance.

Given the age gap, I’m betting it’ll be a riot 😁

#ARC kindly received from the publisher Carina Press via NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Release Blitz: Enough by A.L. Williams

Enough | A. L. Williams

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Release Date: August 1st, 2020

Universal Link: https://books2read.com/EnoughbyALWilliams

Enough Ebook

Blurb

He can go fuck himself…

Dexter spends his days in class and working. He has goals and a future to work for, but he can’t deny the loneliness. When he ran into Isabella he’s pulled into an emotional rollercoaster he didn’t ask for. One that involves an overprotective brute he wishes would go away. It’s not like he’s her boyfriend, so what’s his issue?

Then why this time?

Rashawn shouldn’t be surprised. Picking up random guys was Isabella’s MO. It was nothing new. However, why was this one so infuriating? He wasn’t anything special. Just some college guy who was probably after nothing other than sex. Once she gets her fill, he’ll be old news and things would return to normal. Right?

Both men have been pulled into a triangle they didn’t ask for. They are forced to fight for what they want. There’s one problem. As time goes on neither of them is sure what that is anymore.

Excerpt

A warm body slammed into me and I grabbed at the person’s shoulders to steady them and myself. My hand landed on something soft and I jumped back when I realized. I had grabbed a breast. I gawked at the woman who was staring at me with her head cocked to the side. 

She was stunning. She had a thin frame, but the curves were present due to the tightness of her black skirt and red satin blouse, that looked delicious against all that golden skin. My eyes trailed down to her chest with a single button open, revealing perfect breasts. “I’m up here,” she said. 

I whipped my head up, my face warm. What the fuck was wrong with me? “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to—” 

She held up a well manicured hand. “It’s fine. I know I’m sexy.” Her dark brown eyes danced with amusement. I must have looked like a fish, but I couldn’t help myself. Not only was this woman drop dead gorgeous, but she carried herself with a confidence that I envied.

“What’s your name?” she asked, inching closer. Her long dark brown curls swayed with her movements.

I glanced at a group of giggling girls that walked by and then turned back. “Dex,” I said.

A wide smile spread across her face. “I’m Isabel.”

She reached out and brushed my arm, sending goosebumps along it. I really needed to get laid. I was far too responsive to the woman. My cock was already taking notice. The last thing I needed was for her to see how desperate I was. 

“Would you like to get coffee sometime?” she asked. 

I blinked and bobbed my head, feeling like an idiot moments later. What was I, twelve?  “Yeah, that would be great.” 

She smirked. “I’m glad.” She leaned in close, her lips only inches from mine. “I’m looking forward to it.” She looked up at me from below her long eyelashes. I swallowed. 

“Izzy, what are you doing?”  I jumped back startled by the male voice. A man with dark bronzed skin stocked over, his forehead creased and dark eyes flashing with anger. He glared down at me, towering over us both. He had to be at the least six foot three.  I looked aside, unable to do much else under the intense presence. Who the fuck was this guy?

“Calm down, Rashawn. You’re scaring the poor guy,” Isabel said as if there wasn’t a giant before her, glaring daggers that would kill if allowed. 

She moved back and wrapped her arms around his bicep which was far too large for its own good. I mean, come on, it had to be a size too small. Guys like this I knew well from high school. Big and tough with far too many muscles and a bad attitude. I wasn’t here for it. “I have to go. I have homework to do and then I have to get to work.” I said, taking a step back. 

Isabel poked out her lip which would have made me laugh if it wasn’t for hulk in the shade of brown looking at me as if he wanted to strangle me. I shifted and swallowed around the dryness in my throat.

“We’re still on for coffee right?” she asked. 

I want to say no, but I did need to get out more and do things with people. Who cared if this Rashawn guy was her…I don’t know…he definitely wasn’t her boyfriend or she wouldn’t have asked me out in such a proactive way. Not completely convinced I nodded, trying to ignore the giants hard eyes boring into me. I shifted again.

She reached in her shirt and pulled out a phone, unlocked the screen and handed it to me. “Great! Here put your number in my phone. We can meet at the student union tomorrow around four? I have classes all morning and homework to grade, but after that I will meet you there.”

“Okay.” I handed her phone back and glanced at Rashawn who had his arms crossed in front of his chest in a stance very similar to my father’s. He hadn’t said a word, but I could see the vein in his neck working. He wasn’t happy. Why? She was asking me out on a date. Which meant she was single. What was his problem? 

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About The Author

My name is Alec Lee Williams, a black trans #ownvoices artist. My pronouns are He/him/his.  I have loved creating things ever since I can remember. My art is the visual and written expression of what is in my heart and mind. Show the world what social expectation and stigma it has created in regards to mental health. Mental illness and discrimination are a part of our history, and it’s time the world sees it.  The beautiful and the dirty.

With my art, I want to show those who don’t have mental illness what it’s like. I want those that do have a mental illness, specifically queer POC, to relate and maybe even letting go of their trauma and triggers by seeing it displayed. I want them to know they are not alone.

Now that I have decided to pursue writing my novels I hope will do the same.

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Release Blitz: Power Inversion by Sara Codair

Power Inversion | Sara Codair

Evanstar Chronicles #2

BANNER2 - Power Inversion

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: Monday, June 22nd, 2020

Length: 84,000

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Buy Links:

Publisher: https://ninestarpress.com/product/power-inversion/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08BF1KP2C

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/power-inversion-sara-codair/1137213317?ean=2940164399986

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50517249-power-inversion

COVER - Power Inversion

Blurb

Do you have to be a monster to fight one?

Erin Evanstar is a demon hunter, a protector of humanity from nightmarish predators that feed on people’s fears and flesh. They are settling into their dual life of being a teen and hunting demons.

When a tentacled horror abducts Erin’s partner, José, Erin and their family go on the hunt to get him back. But Erin gets an ultimatum: help the Fallen Angels bring on the apocalypse or watch José die. Erin will do anything to save José, but fighting monsters comes with a grim price–becoming one themselves.

Trigger Warnings: Violence, Death, Death of a Minor Character, Temporary Death of a Main Character, Mention of Past Abuse, Mention of Miscarriage, Pregnancy of Side Character, Self-harm, Suicidal Ideation, Guns, Grief, Kidnapping/abduction, alcohol use, brief depiction of humans enslaved by a supernatural creature

Excerpt

White graduation caps fell from the sky like flakes of vaporized Demon. High school was a beast, and I’d vanquished it like every monster I’d fought, with one exception—myself.

This moment deserved savoring.

Breathing deliberately, I slowed my perception of time until the caps seemed as if they were falling through cold honey on their way to the ground.

The late-spring sun beat down on me, but a breeze kept the temperature bearable. Some tassels lilted southeast—away from the towering clouds bruising the northwest sky. The weather wasn’t going to hold much longer, but I was okay with that. Thunderstorms awoke something wild in me—a pulse-racing, dance-around-like-no-one-can-see-you kind of wild—a rush of adrenaline almost as good as what I’d get from battling a Troll or sparring with Mel.

With my sense of time slowed down, the distant thunder sounded like a lion purring. The clouds glowed purple as lightning forked through them like an X-ray, temporarily revealing a mass of tentacles undulating in the clouds.

Mel, did you see that? I thought as loudly as I could, hoping my telepathic cousin would hear me.

I’d seen a lot of different Demons in the three months I’d been hunting them, but based on the stories and the Lexicon, the massive tentacled ones only materialized in oceans, and they certainly could not fly. Yet, every time lightning flashed, there they were, waving as if violent updrafts were a gentle breeze.

My heart sped up. My hands closed into fists. Mel didn’t reply.

I shut my eyes, opening my mind so I could feel all the energy around me. Most humans were blobs of buzzing heat, but Mel, a hybrid of human, Angel, and Elf, had a hotter, more intense aura with a spritz of simultaneously depressed and optimistically peppy texture. I found her near my Elven grandmother, who felt like a condensed thunderstorm.

Mel? Niben? Can you hear me? Did you see that?

Of course, there was a good chance they were both shielding. What telepath would have their mind open to other people’s thoughts when there were so many other people around?

One who hasn’t been able to properly shield in months. Mel’s melodic yet squeaky voice was a welcome presence in my mind. Shut down the hyper drive. You’re giving me a headache.

I exhaled over the course of ten seconds, willing my sense of time back to normal.

A garbled din of stretched-out voices morphed to something more akin to a clattering avalanche of pots and pans. A shoulder jostled mine. The corner of a graduation cap crashed into my head.

Erin? What had you wanted to tell me?

There were tentacles in the clouds, I thought at Mel, turning in the general direction I sensed her in.

I crashed into José, who, of course, stood right next to me.

“You okay?” he asked. Tears glistened in his midnight eyes and trickled down his sun-kissed cheeks. One snagged on the crooked tip of his nose. He clutched two graduation caps, his and mine, so tight that the scars on his knuckles were visibly stretched.

“Yeah. Are you?” I wondered if I should tell him what I’d seen. He’d been hunting Demons longer than me, but he also thrived on keeping school and the supernatural as two separate entities. And what if they hadn’t been tentacles? What if the storm had just appeared that way with the lightning in slow motion? I didn’t want to ruin his day if there wasn’t an actual threat.

“I’ll miss everyone.” He stuffed the caps under his arms and hugged me. While I wanted to celebrate because I’d made it out alive, he mourned the loss of a place that had been a haven to him for four years.

I leaned my head on his shoulder, listening to his heartbeat, trying to let his steady warmth calm the worry growing in my mind. José’s body was a rock in the sense that it was hard and athletic, but also because it anchored me when I felt as if my mind was running away.

Have you ever watched a storm with time slowed that much? asked Mel.

I shook my head before I remembered there were dozens of people between her and me. No. Do storm clouds in slow motion look like tentacles?

José kissed my hair and whispered, “Are you talking to Mel?”

I nodded.

“Is she okay?”

“She’s having trouble shielding. We should go meet up with her and the others anyway.” I stepped away from him and walked uphill.

Students, who wore white graduation robes, and their parents, who were dressed mostly in summer dresses, slacks, and collared shirts, were clumped all over Saint Patrick’s sprawling lawn.

José draped his arm over my shoulder as I wove around groups of people. The pressure was calming, lulling panic monsters back to sleep with its warm weight. I glanced up at the clouds. They were closer and darker. The wind sped up, stealing programs from a dozen people’s hands. The clouds lit up with lightning, but I didn’t see any tentacles.

Mel’s voice popped back into my head. I don’t sense anything in the clouds, and neither does Niben. I guess she’s been restraining the storm for half the ceremony. Perhaps you were seeing her power mingled with it?

Maybe. Some tension unraveled from my chest. I’d heard stories about my grandmother, Niben, controlling storms, but I’d never seen her do it. In fact, I’d never witnessed her do any magic unless she was modeling something she wanted me to try. She’d come on a few hunts, but she’d just watched with her unblinking feline eyes and later quizzed me on what I did right and wrong. For all I knew, her fabled storm magic could resemble tentacles.

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About The Author

no glasses rock headshot arms crossed

Sara Codair is an author of short stories and novels, which are packed with action, adventure, magic, and the bizarre. They partially owe their success to their faithful feline writing partner, Goose the Meowditor-In-Chief, who likes to “edit” their work by deleting entire pages.

If Sara isn’t writing, they’re probably teaching, swimming in the lake, reading fantasy, or walking their dog.

Social Media

Author Website: https://saracodair.com/

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/SaraCodair1

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShatteredSmooth

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shatteredsmooth/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15858102.Sara_Codair

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sara-Codair/e/B072L4C869/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

 Giveaway

Sara is giving away a $10 Amazon gift card with this blog tour.

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