Tag - Recent Reads

Recent Reads - The Matter of Time series by Mary Calmes

RecentReads

Some time ago, I sadly fell very behind on my reading, but a conversation with the lovely Poppy Dennison reminded me of how important it is for an author to read. There really was no excuse for me not to be getting any reading done, and "haven't had time" was just not good enough. I schedule most everything in my planner, from edits, to pet grooming appointments, to blot tours and everything in between, so why not schedule reading time? Over the last few weeks, I've gotten back into the swing of things and realize how much I missed it. I'd been meaning to read the Matter of Times series by Mary Calmes for a long time, and by book 2 I was kicking myself that I hadn't.

Halfway through book one, I knew I'd be reading the rest of the series. The more I read, the more I wanted. First let me say that the way I approach reading a book hasn't changed since I was a kid. I read because I love stories. Love getting lost in the world and the characters. I'm not looking for the next award winning book, I'm not looking out for plot holes or grammar errors--unless they're so great that I can't even read the thing. I'm not looking for how it could have been improved or how I would have done it different because when I pick up a book, I'm reading for the pure enjoyment of it. Lucky for me, I can still separate myself from the technical side of things. It's not my job to edit. I'm not saying this because any of the books I'll be chatting about have issues, but to let you know that it's not what I'm looking at when I read, and that's just me. Everyone approaches reading differently. The romance genre is one of my favorite genres, and Gay Romance is especially a love of mine. So for me, it's all about love.

However books that really make me feel something, whose characters stick with me long after I've finished reading, who comfort me when I need to escape, those make it to my favorites list, and they're the ones I revisit time and time again. Like a favorite movie. Matter of Time is one of those series. I just adored it. I'd read Mary before and love every story, but I had some catching up to do. I read all eight books straight through, thrilled they were all there waiting for me to gobble up like a little greedy bunny. And boy did these books make me feel. I'm not a huge fan of  a lot of angst, so I tend not to look for books that try to crush my soul with pain. Real life can be tough enough, so I need my happily ever after, or at least know what I'm getting into. That's just me. With this series, I laughed, cried, and oh my God, I wanted to punch Sam in his dangly bits. Seriously, the man drove me nuts. One minute I wanted to cuddle him, the next I wanted to strangle him. I stayed up way past my bedtime reading these. But who needs sleep, right?

There were moments when I could feel Jory's pain deep in my chest because I'd been there. The heartache was excruciating. Yes, Jory is a trouble magnet, but that just made the whole thing more fun, and his character fascinating. I had moments where I gasped, burst out laughing, and on more than one occasion woke up poor Olly. I loved watching Jory and Sam grow, not just as a couple but individuals. The supporting characters were fantastic. On the surface it may seem like many of the characters are perfect, but beneath it all they're far from it. Each has their own flaws, their own heartaches, and secrets. Then in Parting Shot we got Duncan Stiel. I LOVE that man. I loved seeing things from Aaron's point of view, how different Duncan was to Jory. This was just such a good read. Duncan and Aaron are just smoking hot together.

Overall, this series had everything I wanted and loved. <3 Happy reading!


Vol. 1 (Books 1 and 2)

Jory Keyes leads a normal life as an architect’s assistant until he is witness to a brutal murder. Though initially saved by police Detective Sam Kage, Jory refuses protective custody—he has a life he loves that he won’t give up no matter who is after him. But Jory’s life is in real jeopardy, especially after he agrees to testify about what he saw.

While dealing with attempts on his life, well-meaning friends who want to see him happy, an overly protective boss, and a slowly unfolding mystery that is much more sinister than he could ever imagine, the young gay man finds himself getting involved with Sam, the conflicted and closeted detective. And though Jory may survive the danger, he may not survive a broken heart.

Dreamspinner Press
Vol. 2 (Books 3 and 4)

Three years ago, Jory Harcourt changed his name and shut the door on a past full of pain, only to emerge stronger on the other side. He has a new career, a great working partner, and a satisfying life—except for the hole in his chest left behind when police Detective Sam Kage walked out with his heart.

Now Sam's back and he knows what he wants... and what he wants is Jory. Jory, who doesn't know if he can survive another break up or losing Sam to his dangerous job, resists returning to the arms of the only man he has ever truly loved. But when a serial killer with a score to settle targets Jory, he will have to decide if love is worth the danger as he tries to solve the case and keep Sam safe.

Dreamspinner Press


Sequel to A Matter of Time Vol. 1 and 2 (Book 5)

Jory Harcourt doesn't have to go looking for trouble. Wherever he goes, it seems to find him—particularly when his partner, Sam Kage, is working undercover on a federal task force.

After the recession forces him to close his business, Jory goes to work as a matchmaker and event planner. From there, it's only a matter of time before his big mouth and up-front attitude make him the rope in a tug-of-war between a trust fund baby and a drug-smuggling criminal. Then, as if that situation weren't delicate enough, Jory's undercover lover shows up working for the smuggler.

Between the men who want him and the men who just want him dead, Chicago is getting a little crowded for Jory, so on the advice of his brother, his boyfriend, and the FBI task force, he heads for Hawaii... where a serious accident threatens his quality of life. Can Sam and Jory keep the faith and prove that their relationship really is bulletproof?

Dreamspinner Press


Just Jory - A Sam & Jory Ficlet (Book 5.5)


Sequel to Bulletproof (Book 6)

Jory Harcourt is finally living the dream. Being married to US Marshal Sam Kage has changed him—it’s settled the tumult of their past and changed Jory from a guy who bails at the first sign of trouble to a man who stays and weathers the storm. He and Sam have two kids, a house in the burbs, and a badass minivan. Jory’s days of being an epicenter for disaster are over. Domestic life is good.

Which means it's exactly the right time for a shakeup on the home front. Sam’s ex turns up in an unexpected place. A hit man climbs up their balcony at a family reunion. And maybe both of those things have something to do with a witness who disappeared a year ago. Marital bliss just got a kick in the pants, but Jory won’t let anyone take his family away from him. Before he knew what it felt like to have a home, he would have run. Not anymore. He knows he and Sam need to handle things together, because that’s the only way they’re going to make it.

Dreamspinner Press
Ears, Eggs, and Bunnies - A Sam and Jory Easter Ficlet (Book 6.5)
A Matter of Time Story (Books 7)

Life has never been easy for Duncan Stiel. His childhood was the stuff of nightmares, and his day job as an undercover police officer forces him to hide his true self and occasionally lands him in the hospital. So when he finally meets the perfect man, it comes as no surprise that everything falls apart around him. What Duncan doesn’t expect is that the hardest hurdle to get over before he can make a life with Aaron Sutter is the one inside himself.

Everyone thinks Aaron has it all—looks, money, fame, and success beyond measure. Everyone, that is, except Aaron. At the end of the day, the cameras stop flashing, friends go back to their own lives, company business is handled, and Aaron is always alone. The moment he meets Duncan Stiel, Aaron knows he’ll do anything to hold onto the larger-than-life detective. But when he realizes money won’t buy him the ultimate happiness, Aaron needs to find the strength to give Duncan something much more important—his heart.

Dreamspinner Press
A Matter of Time Story (Book 8)

After years of domestic partnership, Jory Harcourt and Sam Kage are finally going to make it official in their home state of Illinois. It’s been a long and rocky road, and nothing—not disasters at work, not the weather, not a possible stalker, not even getting beat up and having to attend the ceremony looking like he just got mugged—will make Jory wait one more day to make an honest man of the love of his life.

Should be a piece of cake, right?

Dreamspinner Press

2014 and tackling the terrifying TBR list

CharlieRoseLike most readers, I have a TBR list, one that seems to have a life of its own. The books multiply like bunnies. For every one I read, three more take its place. (I blame Dreamspinner Press and their ridiculously amazing sales!) I have eBooks from 2010 and 2011 which I don't know that I'll get around to as 2012 and 2013 have produced twice as many eBooks that need reading. Sadly, 2013 was not a good year of reading for me. I read quite a bit, but mostly books on writing or for research.

This year, I've decided to try and tackle my ever growing TBR list. Over the weekend, I spent a few hours sorting through my eBook folders. There are A LOT of them. Here's how I organize them, in case anyone fancies doing something similar. I have an 'eBooks' folder in my SkyDrive, and inside that folder, every author who I have at least 3 or more books for gets their own folder. All other eBooks go into a folder labelled 'Authors'. Then I have a 'Favorite Authors' folder, a '2012', and '2013' folder, plus a 'TBR' folder. Inside my 'TBR' folder is a 'Priority' folder. As I read books in my 'TBR', they get moved to their respective folders. It's the only way I can keep track of things. Any non-LGBTQ fiction goes into a separate folder labeled accordingly: Research, Crime Fiction, M/F Romance etc.

I hope to read a lot more fiction than I did last year, and catch up on some books I meant to read ages ago. I'm off to a pretty good start. Here's what I read this week. All of which I highly recommend!

Piper Vaughn's - Love Rising Shira Anthony's - Stealing the Wind (Mermen of Ea #1) KJ Charles's - The Magpie Lord (A Charm of Magpies #1) KJ Charles's - Interlude with Tattoos (A Charm of Magpies #1.5)

I'll probably be adding more of my thoughts on books I enjoyed. I guess you could call them reviews, but I don't consider myself a reviewer. Despite being a writer, reviews are freakin' hard, and there's a lot more to them than just saying I liked or didn't like something, because I'd consider that more an opinion. My reviews are really more along the lines of fangirl ramblings.

I also don't give M/M Romance books star ratings. It's one of those topics that can be debated until everyone's blue in the face, but personally, I think folks should do whatever feels comfortable for them, and in my case, I don't feel comfortable rating my fellow authors, so I don't. I'm not saying authors should or shouldn't rate/review other authors, I'm just saying I won't. Now if I like, or love a book, I'm not shy about shouting it from the mountain top. When I read, I read for the sheer enjoyment of it. I read for me.

It's funny, how despite now being an author, I pretty much still approach books the same way I have all my life. I don't pick up a book, start reading, and suddenly become its editor. I'm there to enjoy it. I have enough editing to worry about in my own stories without worrying about what was missed in someone else's. I may notice things I hadn't noticed before, or have names for all the structural elements that compose a story, but when I pick up a book, the author stays behind, and the reader takes over. I want to be swept away by the story, the characters, the world, and the emotions. If the story succeeds in that respect, I'd call it a winner. As long as it piques my interest, I'll read any genre. I do however, need coherency. If I'm reading a book, and something in the writing jars me out of the story every other paragraph, I'm not likely to continue. It's been a long time since I've come across a book that's done that.

Right now I'm reading Jordan L Hawk's - Stormhaven (Whyborne & Griffin #3), which I LOVED the first two by the way, and I have a couple of eBooks lined up after that. I'm aiming for at least three eBooks a week, depending on schedules and length of books. There's also a few new releases coming out this month which I'm looking forward to: Hayley B. James's - Polyester Prince (ABQ Heat #2), and KJ Charles's - A Case of Possession (A Charm of Magpies #2)

What are you reading at the moment?


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