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review 2017-09-18 22:16
Lightning Men
Lightning Men: A Novel - Thomas Mullen

Darktown #2

By:  Thomas Mullen 

ISBN: 9781501138799

Publisher: Atria 

Publication Date: 9/12/2017

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating: 5 Stars + 


From the acclaimed author, Thomas Mullen who introduced readers to the hit, Darktown landing on my Top Books of 2016 —racial integration of Atlanta’s police department in 1948 — with an explosive multi-layered complex follow-up: LIGHTNING MEN. 

Racial violence and corruption continue in 1950’s Atlanta, with African-American police officers, Boggs and Smith. 

As they say in the South, these two find themselves in a "heap of trouble.” (Among others). 

“Hot Atlanta” is not just sizzling. It is blistering. Fiery. Tensions and emotions run high. Loyalties are tested between family and law. Color lines are threatened. Moral lines are blurred. 

The second in the Darktown series, Mullen uses his hard-boiled crime, cop procedural, to explore post-WWII racism in the South. 

The highly anticipated character-driven LIGHTNING MEN is much more than just a crime-fictional thriller. It is infused with critical historical details and timely controversial subjects we face today.

“Any candid observer of American racial history must acknowledge that racism is highly adaptable.” – Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow 

Highly-charged, Mullen turns up the intensity with characters facing moral, family, social issues and compromises. 

Tensions rise. From racial prejudice, moonshining, drugs, greed, conspiracy, Klansmen, fascist Columbians, white supremacist, corruption, bigotry, violence, Jim Crow laws, preachers, shootouts, paybacks, fear, power, and segregated neighborhoods.

In Darktown, we met rookies: Officer Lucius Boggs and his partner, Tommy Smith. 

From different backgrounds, their office was housed in the basement of the Negro YMCA, a makeshift precinct. They were not even allowed to arrest white men, nor allowed to drive a squad car. They could not patrol outside of the Negro neighborhoods that constituted their beat. No respect and little support. 

Only ten black officers patrolled those thousands of souls. A third of Atlanta were black, yet they were crowded into only a fifth of the land. 

Boggs and Smith had not taken bribes; however, with two years on the force, it appeared half of the white officers took bribes, so how long would the Negro officers resist? 

They were tiring of their powerlessness. The son of a preacher, Boggs was all too familiar with the fallibility of men, even men with power. 

Denny Rakestraw (white) is distrusted by his fellow officers for his suspected role in the disappearance of his former partner, Lionel Dunlow. 

Rakestraw is not a racist but finds it difficult to fit in with his fellow white cops and work with the ten black cops. Neither side, fully trusts him. 

Denny’s problems increase when his Klansman brother-in-law, Dale Simpkins, gets involved in a plot to stop the influx of African-Americans into his neighborhood, Hanford Park. 

Some cops are part of the Klan. Will they accuse one of the richest men in Atlanta of selling moonshine and marijuana?

Boggs had come to respect McInnis over the last two years. He had stuck up for his charges during a few disputes with white officers. How far can he go to protect them? 

Boggs (preacher’s son) is dating Julie with a young son, Sage. Soon to be married. His family opposes the relationship since she is not of their social status. She has a secret past. She is intimidated by their prestigious family. 

When a black man, Jeremiah is released from prison after five years, things get personal. Boggs life gets complicated when he learns the connection. 

Two years earlier, Boggs came close to resigning his position and had second thoughts after a near-death experience. Now, he is unsure again.

Too many mistakes that weighed heavily on his soul. He is sure there would be more guilt and an awkward relationship with his partner. Can he remain as a cop? 

Events will lead each character to major soul-searching. Smith had crossed another line as well. He was afraid. 

. . . The Armor. The façade victims’ families typically wore when they needed to protect themselves or the memory of their loved ones. Folks who wore The Armor sometimes had secrets to hide. 

The Armor was firmly in place as they parried the officer’s attempts to learn more about the deceased. They wore The Armor to keep the cops from learning things. The secrets. . . 

The Armor was worn by the innocent, who had nothing to hide but their dignity, and they were so deeply offended to be questioned by these employees of the corrupt City of Atlanta, these paid enforcers of Jim Crow, that they refused to play along. They may be innocent, hurt, or protective. 

. . . “And lines are only ideas people dream up, to govern what should be possible, to keep you from moving toward the forbidden.”

Three policemen struggle. Each has an agenda and react in different ways to protect. Loyalties are tested. Family versus law. 

Can they continue to work with one hand tied behind their packs without the proper support to do their jobs? Will the latest emotional events, their actions, and tensions make them second guess their current careers? Will they continue to serve and make Atlanta a better city, or is it a useless effort? 

After violence and a shootout, will Hanford Park be transformed? Will the lines between white and black be blurred after the postwar crowding, pushing blacks into areas formerly considered whites-only (without violence)? 

From racial politics and struggles of history, Mullen does not miss a beat! 

The complex emotions of each character are portrayed in depth, making the characters jump off the page. Others threaten lives. Others protect. Struggles both interior and exterior. 

Complications. Affairs interrupted. Old scores settled. Blood feuds magnified. Pride. Costs were high. Greed. 

Hard-boiled. Explosive. Riveting. Timely! 

Love this enthralling series and looking forward to seeing what is in store next for Smith and Boggs. 

When reading of Boggs at his dad’s house for dinner with Julie, reminds me strongly of Greenleaf (a favorite show) and their preacher/family dinners. Heaven forbid, their children do not follow their well-laid controlled plans. 

Movie-worthy! For those who enjoy good crime fiction, and historical fiction as Mullen meticulously traces the civil rights movement through his well-written crime stories and cop procedurals, that involve "real" characters you come to care about. 

Fans of TV mini-series: Underground, Greenleaf and Queen Sugar will enjoy this intense series as well as Michael Connley’s Harry Bosch and Greg Iles' Penn Cage series. 

In addition to the early digital reading copy (thank you) provided by NetGalley and Atria, I also purchased the audiobook, narrated by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II – for an award-winning performance. Just finished. 

Move this series to the top of your list. If you reside in the South, this is a “must read.” Especially for those of us who found (find) Atlanta our home for many years. Another Southern winner! 


Due to post-Irma, residing in South Florida with water damages, power outage, cell towers, and loss of internet for nine consecutive days; no gas, grocery, or mail service – late posting my review on pub day. Let's hope Maria does not pay us a visit. 

Yay! Today we have internet restored, power, cell towers, and mail service! Back in business. Ordered the hardcover copies of both DARKTOWN and LIGHTNING MEN for my personal library. So excited, they are out for delivery today, from Amazon! (Love the covers) Looking forward to receiving my copies. (Now, I have to figure out how to get the author to autograph) my copies. 

Busy catching up with posting reviews and my blog. Thanks everyone for your patience.

City on the verge of a race riot in ‘Darktown’ sequel

Thomas Mullen’s new novel examines brotherly hate  

By Tray Butler - For the AJC

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/04/19/Lightning-Men
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review 2017-07-06 11:46
Herz und Köpfchen
Scardust - Suzanne van Rooyen

Ich habe wenig Erfahrung mit LSBTTIQ-Literatur. Um die Gay Romance habe ich bisher einen großen Bogen gemacht, weil ich – wie ihr mittlerweile wissen dürftet – kein Fan von Liebesgeschichten bin. Ich weiß, dass sich dieses spezielle Genre eines stetigen wachsenden Publikums erfreut, mir war allerdings nicht klar, dass die Kategorisierung als Gay Romance nicht zwangsläufig bedeutet, dass das entsprechende Buch als klassischer Liebesroman betitelt werden kann. Jede Genre-Kombination ist erlaubt. Ich bin daher sehr froh, dass mir Suzanne van Rooyens Science-Fiction-Roman „Scardust“ bei Netgalley begegnete und mir die Augen öffnete.


Raleigh Williams will die Erde verlassen. Was hält ihn schon in Dead Rock, Texas? Eine traumatische Vergangenheit voller schlechter Erinnerungen? Nein, Raleigh ist entschlossen, Teil der Marskolonie zu werden, koste es, was es wolle. Als eines Nachts jedoch ein Meteor in der texanischen Wüste einschlägt, werden all seine Pläne auf den Kopf gestellt. Im Krater findet er einen mit Narben übersäten, unverschämt gutaussehenden Mann ohne Gedächtnis, der weder weiß, wer er ist, noch wie er den Einschlag überleben konnte oder wieso er überhaupt als Meteor auf die Erde stürzte. Genau genommen ist nicht mal sicher, ob der Fremde ein Mensch ist. Der einzige Anhaltspunkt sind die Erinnerungsfetzen, die die beiden austauschen, wann immer sie sich berühren. Raleigh erklärt sich bereit, Meteor-Mann zu helfen. Eine folgenschwere Entscheidung, denn schon bald sind ihnen krude Regierungsbeamte auf den Fersen. Auf ihrer Flucht erforschen sie gemeinsam die Erinnerungen des jeweils anderen und kommen sich dabei beständig näher. Doch je mehr Antworten sie erhalten, desto unklarer wird das Gesamtbild, bis die Grenzen von Realität und Einbildung verschwimmen.


Ich fand „Scardust“ toll. Mir ist selbstverständlich bewusst, dass das Buch nicht perfekt ist und einige verbesserungswürdige Aspekte enthält, wie zum Beispiel die Objektifizierung der Hauptfiguren durch die zwanghafte Darstellung ihrer körperlichen Attraktivität oder der beschämende Umgang mit dem Thema Prostitution, aber die Lektüre bereitete mir so viel Freude, dass ich darüber hinwegsehen wollte und konnte. Vielleicht sollten mir diese Stolpersteine mehr ausmachen, doch ich hatte einfach Spaß beim Lesen. Dieses Gefühl überstrahlt jegliche Kritik, die die kleine nörgelnde Stimme in meinem Kopf geltend machen möchte. Meiner Meinung nach überzeugt dieser SciFi-Roman vor allem durch die Protagonisten, die in abwechselnder Ich-Perspektive nicht nur äußerst glaubwürdig und realistisch ausgearbeitet, sondern auch schlicht und ergreifend unheimlich sympathisch sind. Raleigh ist ein traumatisierter junger Mann, der aus einer zerrütteten Familie stammt und bisher nicht viel Glück hatte. Seine sexuelle Orientierung brandmarkte ihn stets als „anders“, was in einem kleinen texanischen Kaff natürlich schwierig ist. In seiner Vergangenheit liegt so manches dunkles Geheimnis, das ihn bis heute verfolgt. Suzanne van Rooyen integrierte Raleighs Trauma hervorragend in ihre Geschichte, ohne seine Persönlichkeit schwach wirken zu lassen. Ich fand es vollkommen verständlich, dass er seinem seelischen Ballast zu entkommen versucht und dafür den radikalsten Weg wählt, der ihm einfällt: ein Leben auf dem Mars. Als ihm der Meteor-Mann begegnet, den er kurzerhand Crow tauft, geraten diese Pläne allerdings heftig ins Stolpern. Sein Entschluss, Crow zu helfen, bringt ihn und alle, die ihm nahestehen, in Gefahr. Plötzlich wird er gejagt und bedroht, ohne zu wissen, wieso. Den Mann ohne Gedächtnis umgibt ein haarsträubendes Rätsel, das ich überaus spannend fand. Ich begriff nicht, was mit Crow nicht stimmt und wollte unbedingt herausfinden, was die scheinbar nicht-menschlichen, etwas übertrieben heftigen Symptome, die er durchleidet, zu bedeuten haben. Crow ist ein extrem unterstützender, toleranter Charakter, der Raleigh trotz seiner fragwürdigen Vergangenheit nimmt, wie er ist, ohne ihn zu verurteilen, da er durch ihre geteilten Erinnerungen buchstäblich in seiner Haut steckte. Die sich rasch entwickelnden Gefühle zwischen den beiden erschienen mir daher durchaus nachvollziehbar. Sie verbindet eine sehr intime Beziehung, die sich mit jeder Berührung weiter intensiviert. Ist es da verwunderlich, dass sie sich schnell ineinander verlieben? Sie lernen sich auf einer Ebene kennen, für die andere Menschen Jahre brauchen. Es gibt zwischen ihnen keine Lügen, Schmeicheleien oder Geheimnisse, nur reine, echte Nähe, die sogar Raleighs sorgsam errichteten emotionalen Schutzwall durchbricht, weil Crow ihm all das bietet, wonach er sich insgeheim sehnt. Ich fand ihre Beziehung entzückend und bangte der niederschmetternden Auflösung, wer Crow ist, entgegen. Diese Wendung der Geschichte kann ich nur als abgefahren bezeichnen. Meine Kinnlade rauschte zu Boden. Ich sehe zwar ein paar kleinere Probleme hinsichtlich der Plausibilität dieses Erklärungsansatzes, kann aber nicht leugnen, dass mich dessen Originalität beeindruckte. Ich war wie vom Donner gerührt und hätte niemals erwartet, dass Suzanne van Rooyen mit dermaßen futuristischen Ideen aufwartet.


„Scardust“ ist ein Science-Fiction-Roman aus der Gay Romance voller Action und glaubhaften Emotionen. Suzanne van Rooyen bietet einige interessante Denkanstöße bezüglich der Zukunft und spricht erstaunlich viele Tabuthemen an, ohne jemals die Handlung ihrer Geschichte aus den Augen zu verlieren. Das Buch enthält zwar den einen oder anderen Mangel, doch unterm Strich war die Lektüre unterhaltsam und mitreißend, was meines Erachtens nach stets schwerer wiegt als jeder Kritikpunkt. Es wundert mich nicht, dass „Scardust“ im Rahmen der Rainbow Awards 2016 ausgezeichnet wurde. Raleighs und Crows Geschichte ist eine bezaubernde Mischung aus Herz und Köpfchen, die ich euch guten Gewissens weiterempfehlen kann.


Vielen Dank an den Verlag Entangled Embrace für die Bereitstellung dieses Rezensionsexemplars via Netgalley im Austausch für eine ehrliche Rezension!

Source: wortmagieblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/06/suzanne-van-rooyen-scardust
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review 2017-06-21 01:29
Windward by Kirby Crow - My Thoughts
Windward (Mirror Series Book 2) - Kirby Crow

This is a serious book!  Not for the faint-hearted, let me tell you.  And I loved it.  :)

We're back with Matty and Grant who still have so many things to iron out between them.  It's not an easy row to hoe by any means, love notwithstanding.  Are they to be allowed to do this by themselves?

Oh hell no.

If it's not interference and at times outright disapproval from Grant's family, it's the FBI come knocking with a request for Matty to help them out with the tracking down and capture of his ex-lover, the chilling assassin, Jaeger Koning.  And what's with Jaeger?  Well, nothing other than that he wants his one-time submissive, Matty, back where he belongs.  With Jaeger.

There's action.  There's banter.  There's humour.  There's emotion.  There's heart-stopping danger and there's moments that one is tempted to weep.   Seriously!

But the main strength in this book, I think, comes from the way the author brings us into the minds of the three main characters - Grant, Matty and Jaeger - sharing their thoughts and how their minds and their.. well... their selves are guided and formed by the power exchanges of D/s relationships.  I'm explaining it badly - who's surprised? - but I find the whole idea of power exchange to be sexy and heady and fascinating.

Loved it and I hope we may revisit the Mirror Universe at some point.  :)

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text 2017-04-27 20:49
Enjoyable Nordic crime
The Crow Girl - Erik Axl Sund

I am a big fan of Nordic/Scandi Noir, both in movies (The Killing, The Bridge) and in the written word. There is a certain style in the crime writing; very descriptive very character driven with a plot line always developed in an articulate and thoughtful way. I was therefore very excited when "The Crow Girl" recently reduced to £5 (kindle) became available to UK readers. I expected the same attention to detail and exciting storytelling that I have become used to in the writings of Henning Mankell, Jo Nesbo, and more recently  Yrsa Sigurdardottir


It is always a good thing when the first few pages immediately hold and retain the reader's attention.....a room is being prepared, insulated and sound proofed to create what we can only presume is a prison, and very soon a young boy is held captive, doped and incarcerated. A body is discovered in the centre of Stockholm and DS Janette Kihlberg is tasked with finding the perpetrator of some gruesomely mummified remains. To help understand the mind of a killer she seeks out and requests help from psychotherapist Sofia Zetterlund. Jeanette is feeling the growing pressure, male prejudice at work and in addition trying to cope with a disintegrating home life with her partner Ake and son Johan. As the body count rises a conspiracy is discovered stretching back many years, involving sexual abuse and paedophilia, and implicating respected pillars of the community.


At 786 pages long this is a story that needs perseverance. At first I became engrossed with the stylish writing depicting acts of depravity and with characters that had multiple personalities and deep rooted personal problems. There are some big issues to think about here most prominent the idea of dissociative identity disorder where a person is characterized by the presence of two or more distinct or split identities or personality states that continually have power over the person's behaviour. I found myself having a lot of sympathy for DS Kihlberg balancing an increasing complicated workload and an equally confusing personal life. Decisions that she takes and a personal discovery that she makes will have far reaching consequences for the present and into the future.


The real problem with The Crow Girl is the page count. I really enjoyed the story at first but the depressing subject matter became overwhelming in the later stages. My understanding is that this was originally 3 separate books on first release in Sweden, and would have benefited greatly from some tight proof reading/editing, before UK release, leading to a single combined volume of around 500 pages. Having made clear my reservations I still believe this is essential reading for lovers of Nordic crime but be prepared to be shocked and possibly repulsed at the sensitive storyline unfolding before you.


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text 2017-04-19 13:05
Blog Tour Stop for the Crow City Series by Cole McCade with Excerpt and Giveaway


Today’s stop is for Cole McCade’s Crow City Series. We will have info about the books and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway. Happy Reading :) 



The Lost

Crow City #1


The first book in the new Cole McCade: After Dark erotica imprint; a darkly haunting erotica with the taboo appeal of V.C. Andrews.
"If the romantic character study is a genre, this fascinating contemporary novel is its exemplar." - Publishers Weekly
There's something wrong with Leigh.
She's known it her whole life. She knows it every time she spreads her legs. Every time she begs for the pain, the pleasure, the heat of a hard man driving deep inside. She's a slave to her own twisted lusts--and it's eating her alive. She loves it. She craves it. Sex is her drug, and she's always chasing her next fix. But nothing can satisfy her addiction, not even the nameless men she uses and tosses aside. No one's ever given her what she truly needs.
Until Gabriel Hart.
Cold. Controlled. Impenetrable. Ex-Marine Gabriel Hart isn't the kind of man to come running when Leigh crooks her pretty little finger. She loathes him. She hungers for him. He's the only one who understands how broken she is, and just what it takes to satisfy the emptiness inside. But Gabriel won't settle for just one night. He wants to claim her, keep her, make her forever his. Together they are the lost, the ruined, the darkness at the heart of Crow City.
But Leigh has a darkness of her own. A predator stalking through her past--one she'll do anything to escape.
Even if it means running from the one man who could love her...and leaving behind something more precious to her than life itself.


Buy Link 


The Fallen

Crow City 1.5


Reconnect with Gabriel, Gary, Maxi, and Crow City in this companion novella telling the story of THE LOST‘s Gabriel Hart before Leigh entered his life – and get a sneak preview of the sinister Priest, hero of THE FOUND.
Gabriel Hart is a broken man.
And everyone close to him dies.
His military unit. His sister. His parents. Everyone he’s come to care for has been taken from him, leaving him with nothing but a crippling war injury, a Vicodin addiction, and a scraggly, chewed-up rag of a cat. It’s enough to make anyone want to check out. And when he holds his service pistol in his hand and presses it against his temple, for the first time in a long time the world feels right.
But he’s not as alone as he thinks. And when grizzled bar owner Gary challenges him to honor his sister’s memory by repairing her houseboat before he gives up on life, he discovers she left more for him than her belongings. And her letters lead him on a trail through discovering himself, discovering what he truly wants…and discovering that he has the strength to choose his own path.


Buy Link 


The Found

Crow City #2



Witness to a murder. Kidnapped by a monster. Life hanging on a whim. Willow Armitage’s world was already falling apart; between getting fired and caring for her chronically ill father, she’s had little room for anything but survival. But that survival hangs in the balance the night she stumbles into a back alley – and watches a stranger die at the hands of the most beautiful man she’s ever seen.



Buy Link 


The Saved

Crow City #2.5


For it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. – Leviticus 17:11
Before he was a mysterious, silent killer stalking the streets of Crow City, the strange man known as Priest (THE FOUND, Crow City #2) was a lost and broken soul—and part of Willow Armitage’s world in ways she could never have imagined. Shattered by the Afghanistan War, left with no companions other than fellow survivor Gabriel Hart (THE LOST, Crow City #1), ex-Marine Priest turns to his lost faith for answers when his life has lost all meaning…but in searching for his God, he finds a new religion. A religion of blood. Of pain.
Of vengeance.
And from that religion rises a mission to replace everything he had lost, to set right just a few of the small wrongs in the world…and to ease the constant bleeding of his broken heart, filled with sins without number.
Revisit Crow City and meet Priest as he was before the fateful night that brought him into Willow’s life…and reconnect with beloved names and faces as we discover what—and who—set him on his dark and merciless path.


Buy Link 


Crow City #2.75
There are worse things in life than loving a man who hates you.
Unfortunately, Walford Gallifrey can’t think of many.
Ever since a ghost from his past kidnapped his niece, Willow (THE FOUND, Crow City #2), Wally’s life has been nothing but grief, turmoil, and loss. With no idea if Willow is dead or alive, Wally’s only comfort is in caring for his grieving brother-in-law and Willow’s father, Joseph Armitage. For the past twenty years, Wally has never hoped to be anything but the backdrop to Joseph’s life; between marrying Wally’s sister and decades of mistakes building walls of enmity and resentment between them, Joseph has been firmly cemented in Wally’s mind as unattainable.
But the pain of Willow’s loss forces them to face the demons sleeping between them, find common ground—and more. Together, they explore mutual grief. Shared memories. Quiet respect. Warmth. Camaraderie. The joy of learning to live again.
And an unspoken attraction, buried beneath the scars of hurtful words and terrible missteps.
Yet even as they work through the thorns and tangles of old wounds, Joseph has his own struggles to face. The struggle to leave his ex-wife in the past. To let his daughter go. And to trust Wally to love him, to see him as more than just his multiple sclerosis, when so many have treated him as less than a man. The only way forward for them both is forgiveness. Trust.
And a second chance to discover what it means, to truly be in love.
Note: This novel, while a standalone, follows in the aftermath of the events of THE FOUND (Crow City #2), and ties in to the events of THE SAVED (Crow City #2.5), which detail--respectively--the events of Willow's kidnapping and Walford’s prior relationship with her kidnapper, Vincent Manion.


Buy Link 




THE LOST (Crow City #1)


Cole McCade



A pair of worn combat boots stuck out from under the Impala like the Wicked Witch’s ruby slippers. Leigh smiled to herself, tugged her earbuds out, and tip-toed closer, listening to the scuff and clang of rough hands at work. She stopped next to a pair of long legs in dirty, frayed jeans, rested her hands on her knees, and bent to watch, holding her tongue. “You do know I can see your shadow.” A low, gritty voice drifted from beneath the Impala. Dry, coolly masculine, inflected with a certain cultured, exacting articulation, yet rough about the edges—as if he spoke so rarely his voice was rusty, ill-used. That roughness brushed over her skin like chill breath, and she shivered. That voice didn’t belong in the light of day. “Ghosts aren’t supposed to cast a shadow,” she said. “Is that what you are?” “That’s how I live. Somewhere between the world of the living and the world of the dead.” “I see.” A humorless, mocking chuckle slid from beneath the Impala, followed by a long, ferally graceful body: a stark man, defined by absolutes and keen edges. Chill gray eyes, pale as cracked ice. Hair as black as the sea at night, sharp-cut and falling over one eye, spilling against the cracked wood of the creeper beneath him and touched with thin threads of shooting-star silver at the temples. Older, she thought, from his hair and a certain dignified elegance to his stubble-shadowed jaw. Tanned, scarred skin stretched over broad shoulders. Sweat and grease stains darkened his thin white A-shirt. His tattoos said ex-military, jagged silhouettes of fierce-sweeping wings and a pointed beak in the stark style of the Arapaho, turning his right arm into a canvas from shoulder to wrist, slick black oils painted on burnished gold. He stretched out atop the creeper in a long, lazy sprawl and looked up at her, guarded and impenetrable. Something about him spoke of cold precision. A gunsight in human form, locked on and ready to kill. And when he looked at her as if he could see right through her, see through the transparent empty pointlessness of her, Leigh didn’t just feel like a target. She felt like prey. She straightened and looked away, tucking her hands into her pockets, her stomach shivering and light. “This your place?” “It is.” “Blackbird Pond?” “One witch, at your service.” “She’s contrary as a very witch herself,” she quoted, a smile trying to creep over her lips if only she’d let it. She bit it back and studied the Impala—watching him only from the corner of her eye. “You done working your magic on Gary Mitchell’s car? I’m supposed to pick up.” “You’re Leigh, then.” He rolled to his feet with easy grace. He moved like an animal, something savage under his skin, behind those unreadable eyes. Something wild that pulled at Leigh like the jungle calling to a beast that had spent its entire life behind bars. She lingered on his hands, large and cruel and rough-cut as raw granite, as he wiped his fingers clean on a rag. “Just finished final inspection. You sure you’re big enough to drive her? She’s a brute.” “My feet reach the pedals, Daddy.” A forbidding stare pinned her. “Cute.” Nothing else. Just that hard, steady stare while he stood over her, feline and powerful as a black-spotted leopard, lazy strength looming tall until she was a child in his shadow, beneath the weight of his gaze. He didn’t look at her the way most men looked at her. Like they were eyeing her pale pretty thighs and tiny skirt and slight, girlish body and wondering if she was street-legal, wondering if she’d let them go for a test drive to find out. There was a certain kind of man who went for the dirty grunge princess look, pure heroin chic, all smeared eyeliner and kiss-swollen lips, and normally when she made eye contact she knew with a certain click of rightness that she’d found a place to sleep for the night. Even the ones who didn’t want to fuck her, she could still tell what they were thinking—but not him. He was a glacier, and she found herself wanting a name just to make him human.






Slender. Angry. (Part) Asian.
Yeah, that about sums me up.
Hi. I’m Cole. Xen. Whatever you want to call me; both are true, and both are lies. My pen names are multitudes, my nicknames legion. Tall, bi/queer, introverted, author, and of a brown-ish persuasion made up of various flavors of Black, Asian, and Native American. I’m cuter than Hello Kitty, more bitter than the blackest coffee, and able to trip over cats in a single half-asleep lurch; I’m what happens when a Broody Antihero and a Manic Pixie Dream Boy fight to the death, and someone builds a person from the scraps left behind. Beardless, I look like the uke in every yaoi manga in existence; bearded or not, I sound like Barry White. About half my time is spent as a corporate writer, and the other half riding a train of WTFery that sometimes results in a finished book. Romance, erotica, sci-fi, horror, paranormal; LGBTQIA and cishet; diverse settings and diverse characters from a diverse author.
Sometimes I shout about things on the internet. Usually intersectional feminism and marginalized voices, and whomever’s punching down in those directions today. Sometimes human sociology, the psychology of sex and gender, and my own gender non-conforming arse (he/him, by the way). Sometimes I get really mad at Stephen Hawking and nerd out all over the place about hairy black holes, and believe it or not, that’s not a terrible pun or even worse innuendo.
That’s it. I’m a huge dork. My humor’s so dry it could empty oceans. I’m a native Southerner from the New Orleans area with zero Southern accent; I’m a mess of multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-lingual influences; I have two cats. I wake up at daft hours of the morning to go running. I crochet terrible, lumpy things that never really turn into anything. I’m older than you think I look. I’m much more shy than my fury makes me sound (signifying gods only know what, but probably nothing). Recently I decided, at 36, that I needed to restart my life and move cross-country, so I tossed 75% of my possessions in the trash and randomly trucked it to Seattle. I’m in love with books and music and technology, and they war with each other for dominance and sometimes come together in a beautiful confluence. Most of the physical books I own are strange, obscure, out of print, overseas imports, or any combination of the four. Most of the physical books I used to own were destroyed in Hurricane Katrina, and have been replaced with the infinite library on my Nook. My wallet has a dangerous attraction to anything with pages; it flirts and teases and gives its all, until there’s nothing left but emptiness and ruin.
There will always be things you don’t know, and I won’t tell.
But ask me late at night over live music in a seedy bar, and you might just get an honest answer.

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mar 27- kickoff at The Silver Dagger Scriptorium

mar 27- The Book Town

mar 28- Triquetra Reviews

mar 28- Tales of A WannaBe Superhero Mom

mar 29- Wonderful World of Books

mar 29- The Reading Spot

mar 30- Lucky 13 Book Reviews and News

mar 30- Stormy Nights Reviewing and Bloggin

mar 31- Blog of Author Jacey Holbrand

apr 3- The Avid Reader

apr 3- Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer

apr 4- Bound 2 Escape

apr 4- Angels With Attitudes Book Reviews

apr 5- The Authors Blog

apr 5- Traci Hayden

apr 6- Lisa- Queen of Random

apr 6- MommaBear's Book Blog

apr 7- Secret Cravings

apr 10- Books Dreams Life

apr 11- Turning Another Page

apr 12- Casey M's Corner

apr 13- Yah Gotta Read This

apr 14- Mello & June

apr 17- Shh, I Am Reading

apr 18- CGB Blog Tours

apr 19- SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews

apr 20- The Bookworm Chronicles

apr 21- Sylv.Net

apr 24- Teatime and Books

apr 25- Jazzy Book Reviews

Apr 26- Sourpuss Reviews – REVIEW Lost & Fallen

Apr 27- Read Day and Night Blog – REVIEW ALL

Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/blog-tour-stop-crow-city-series-cole-mccade-excerpt-giveaway
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