Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Review Tour: Nightside by V.L. Locey #Review #Giveaway

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

Length: 50,236 words

Erie Series

An Erie Collection - Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link


Being a new member of the undead sect has its ups and downs, something that newly embraced Akio Lee is finding out first hand. Being able to spend eternity with his beloved Vincente, the man who introduced him to life in the nightside, is a definite up. Having to feed on strangers? That’s one of the downsides, and something that Akio is finding difficult to swallow. But what other option is there for a recently wed vampire couple who need blood to survive?

Finding a new donor perhaps? One who comes into the lifestyle willingly, as Akio had done, and is open to the unique and sensual relationship that develops when three men have a blood bond. A man who can exist in both the nightside and the dayside worlds. A man like Ian O’Keeffe, the handsome caretaker of the manse Akio and Vincente now call home? Ian seems to tick every box Akio and Vincente have—he’s comfortable around vampires, he’s obviously into men, he’s drop-dead gorgeous, he’s more than a little mischievous, and he’s human. Mostly.

But will the outgoing handyman be willing to offer two vampires his vein, his body, and his heart?


Akio has gone from being a blood donor bonded to a vampire to marrying said vampire becoming one of the undead himself. Akio and Vincente are in love and working to change the minds of other magical beings about many things that have gone long unchecked in their society from half-bloods being viewed as lesser beings to vampires being scorned and feared. But while Akio loves Vincente and is adjusting to this new undead life, one thing he still grapples with is feeding from a human host. It is not only uncomfortable for Akio but often leaves him less than satisfied. So when Akio and Vincente move house and meet their new caretaker, Ian, both are drawn to the man and it’s not just the magical lure of his blood. But how can Akio justify loving two men and how will Vincente react? Will his husband feel betrayed or could he perhaps be harboring similar feelings for Ian as well?

I can assure you that only for one of my favorite writers, V.I. Locey, would I even entertain the idea of reading a ménage story, but if anyone can make me a fan of the trope then it would be this author and their latest novel, Nightside. Nightside is tied back to Locey’s Erie Collection but really can be read as a standalone. If you have read the other novellas then you will see that most of the characters in this one are familiar especially Akio and Vincente. It’s these two that are featured in this story and they are just delicious together and when Ian finally joins them this novel absolutely sizzles.

The book has a bit of a side mystery to it and I must admit that it was pretty shallow, in my opinion. I wish we had just stuck with the exploration of a polyamorous relationship and how the two vampires, especially Akio, would cope with this new twist early on in the marriage. It’s Akio who, because he is so new to living as a vampire, really still grapples with many issues from the mundane like still craving human food that now makes him sick to grappling with guilt about being attracted to someone other than his husband whom he adores. I liked how the author chose to explore those feelings and how Vincente assured him that he would love Akio no differently if they invited a third into their hearts and bedroom.

As for the mystery element, it was almost non-existent until the big climax near the end of the story which was pretty shocking. I felt like that portion of this book was thrown together at the end just in order to bring a rapid conclusion to the shocking surprise that they had uncovered earlier in the house. In the end, I was less invested in discovering more about that then watching the evolving relationship between the three men.

As a polyamorous romance I think Nightside was a definite hit. While the mystery portion of the novel seemed underdeveloped and too neatly resolved, I still enjoyed this story overall.

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, Dr. Who, Torchwood, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, two Jersey steers and a flock of assorted domestic fowl.

When not writing lusty tales, she can be found enjoying her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand.

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Blog Tour: That Time I... Survived My Teens by Craig Barker #Review #Giveaway

That Time I... Survived My Teens by Craig Barker
Craig Barker
LGBTQ Non-fiction/Memoir
Release Date: 10.13.19

The Saturday prior to starting this memoir, my ex-fiancé and I had two of his work friends over for an old-fashioned games night. And when I say “old-fashioned,” I’m talking about dice, cards, racking up your points on an abacus, etc. You know, the things people entertained themselves with before politicians blamed every violent fart that wafted their way on video games.

Stop doing that.

Anyway, seeing as I didn’t know who these people were and would’ve much rather spent the evening on the sofa with our dog, I was less than optimistic. If anything, the whole ordeal was going to be like sitting through a Christopher Nolan movie. Sure, I’d say I was having a great time to fit in, but in all honesty, I wouldn’t have a clue what was happening and I’d probably need to take a nap midway through.

Hours before they arrived, just as I’d started to have those “what if I accidentally say something so obscenely offensive or mind-numbingly stupid, I’ll be haunted by the memory of it for years to come” thoughts, my ex ran down into the basement in which I dwell, his eyes frantic, and begged—
“Please don’t talk about choking on dicks when they get here.”

Come again?

“Please, Craig. That kind of talk makes them uncomfortable. Don’t do it.”

I felt a flurry of emotions in the picosecond it took for his words to register: amused, bemused, offended. It sounded like a joke, but his face was full of fear—a fear that I would be unequivocally crude to these complete strangers, and that my behavior would burn bridges he obviously wanted to keep erect (more on erections later).

That was when it hit me like a pair of loose-hanging nuts to the taint; a realization that I, Craig Thomas Barker, had a pattern of behavior that stretched across my life since adolescence—
I’m the person you get warned about before meeting. I’m the person that gets warned before going anywhere.

Like Carrie Bradshaw, “I couldn’t help but wonder” why that was. So, in order to understand who I am today, I decided to take a look at the years that shaped me. I spread my life out on the table, lubed it with the flare of artistic exaggeration, and went at it until I found my answer.

This isn’t so much a memoir as it is a gay’s journey to discover himself; don’t expect structure, coherency, or a thoroughly thought out narrative with a climactic closing paragraph that gives any of this dribble closure. I’m no one special, I’m not famous, and I don’t have much to say that hasn’t been said before, but I have lived a life, and all twenty-six years of that life has culminated in a single sentence—
“Please don’t talk about choking on dicks when they get here.”

This memoir explains why…
And it was cheaper than therapy.


I was born in the 70’s era which means mostly my young adolescent years were in the early to mid-eighties, leaving my teen years late 80’s to early 90’s. Why does all this matter, patience this will all make sense soon. I had the honor of reading Craig Baker’s newest release That Time I Survived My Teens. I personally don’t know Craig. I have read his post, have seen him do live feeds, but other than that I didn’t know “the real man behind the funny post, feeds or even from the books he writes as an author.” However, after reading his story, I felt as if I knew not just him but so many others. Not with the same stories but with similarities of the types of horrible things that Craig faced alone.

 In the generation I grew up in “bullying” wasn’t a term that was used all too often. I may have heard it a few times later in my upper high school years. I grew up hearing phrases like “if he pulled your hair, pushed you off the swing, tripped you, or even hit you it must be because he likes you.” Seriously, so now that he is older and does this to his wife/girlfriend does that mean the same thing?

Craig’s book definitely showed me, even with the generation gap, bullying is still such a big issue in today’s youth. His life growing up was definitely one that could have been so much better if even one adult stood up. The thing with bullying is it doesn’t have a race, gender, gay, straight, nerd, anyone can be a victim. Today I believe it’s even worse with all the media outlets. I mean notes hurt back in my day but to have lies and half-truths posted on social media. I have seen posts where kids have actually told the kid that posted to kill themselves, why, because they didn’t agree with what the post said and then had a ton of their minions follow suit! Let that sink in, over a dang post! As an adult and a parent, I am disgusted, and scared.

What Craig faced growing up and how even though he made some mistakes along the way, he never gave up. He was determined one way or the other not to let haters win. Why did they hate and bullying him, did they really need a reason? Does someone or a group of individuals really need a reason to constantly make another person’s life a constant hell everyday? The answer is and always will be no!

I’m a child of the nineties and a teen of the noughties. I grew up with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Sex and the City, Power Rangers, and Batman: The Animated Series, and I think these four shows perfectly encapsulate everything I am, from my hobbies—comics, video games, writing, wishing I was a Slayer—to the boy beneath the layers of sarcasm, anxiety, and a thirst for men in spandex. 

I am what my time made me. 

I remember dial-up internet, talking on the landline with the cord wrapped around my finger after school, and the irrational fear of strangers in anonymous chat rooms. I remember opening up my Christmas presents and going crazy for the latest Megazords, and I remember how unhappy my parents were before their divorce…though, maybe that’s only something I can see in hindsight. 

My point is, I remember my childhood with as much accuracy as one can when looking through rose-colored glasses of a simpler time. Only it wasn’t simple. In fact, from as young as the age of four or five, I was already struggling internally with something I wouldn’t understand for many years. 

Rocky DeSantos is the name of the second Mighty Morphin’ Red Ranger, later to be the Blue Zeo Ranger before getting replaced by that brat Justin in Power Rangers Turbo, (I’m still bitter about it), and he was, without a doubt, my sexual awakening. He was a 90’s dreamboat who looked as if he’d been pried from a boyband, wearing a sleeveless red shirt and a glistening smile, and whenever he was on screen, I was captivated. 

Of course, I didn’t know what it was I was feeling. I just knew I was feeling something.


Writing a biography has always baffled me. I mean, I’m writing my own but I’m supposed to do it in third person, right? I’m supposed to tell you I attended some top-notch school, help people cross the street, have a “relatable” passion for something and spend my weekends frolicking in a field of flowers…
I can’t do that.
My name is Craig. I like fried food. I write because I enjoy it. Please don’t make me do this anymore.



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