Thursday, May 8, 2014

Book Tour for Shifting Sands by Joy Lynn Fielding (Review & GIVEAWAY)


Today I'm bringing to you a book featuring two of my favorite genres: m/m and paranormal.  Life in the pack is becoming more complicated in Shifting Sands by Joy Lynn Fielding which makes for a compelling read in this fourth installment in the Strength of the Pack series.  Keep reading to get a sexy taste of this book along with learning about the writing process from Ms. Fielding.  Make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $10 Amazon GC too!

One of my favourite parts of writing is research. Not because I have any pretensions towards being an academic, but because finally I’ve found a career where I can tell myself that hours spent gathering completely random facts isn’t simply wasted time.
My research tends to start in a fairly disciplined way before disintegrating as I enthusiastically dive down one rabbit hole after another. For one book, Changing Gear, I wanted to find out information about choke settings for a V8 engine. Sounds straightforward, doesn’t it? But then of course I needed to double-check the information I’d found, and that led me into a whole new fascinating world of muscle car discussion boards.
It turned out that checking a fact for one line in one book took four hours of my life. Okay, so I’m now an expert on first-generation carburettors for a 1967-69 Camaro, but as I’ve never owned a Camaro, never will own one, and wouldn’t recognise one if it passed me in the street, the use to which I can put that knowledge is somewhat limited. But this is where the whole “research” justification comes in—I might use it one day in another book!
I thought I’d share one or two of the more random interesting facts I’ve recently stumbled across in the name of research:
-Wolves have practically no body heat loss through their fur (snow will not melt on a wolf’s coat).
-Until the late Empire, Roman legionaries were not permitted to marry.
-As an aeroplane climbs, the change in air pressure causes a third of the taste buds in the human mouth to become numb. Which is, allegedly, why airline food tastes so bland.
-In the fifteenth century, city authorities in Florence became so alarmed by the predilections shared by so many of their young men that they built municipal brothels for female prostitutes specifically to lure young men away from homosexual acts.
-In 2004, a two-year-old black bear was found unconscious in a campground in Seattle, Washington. It had broken into a cooler and used its claws and teeth to open dozens of beer cans. Although it sampled other types of beer, it chose to drink all the cans of only one type of beer. After its drinking binge, the bear passed out.
And if you can find a common thread running through these, other than they may at some point work their way into one of my books, please let me know. It would be nice to believe my brain isn’t distracted entirely at random! 

The visit to Elk Ridge is supposed to be just another assignment for Tom Barrington. Then he encounters Bryce Reynolds, a generous, warmhearted cowboy who has the easiest smile he’s ever seen. It doesn’t take long for Tom to break all his rules and end up in Bryce’s bed.
Bryce Reynolds believes there’s no such thing as a hot politician, right up until he meets Tom Barrington. Tall, dark, and principled, Tom overturns all of Bryce’s prejudices, and Bryce starts to forget that he doesn’t do serious and he doesn’t do commitment.
As Bryce and Tom struggle to make sense of what’s happening between them, they’re drawn into a political battle—one which could affect the future of every shifter. And when long-buried secrets start coming to light, things turn deadly. Nothing will ever be the same again for the Elk Ridge pack.

EXCERPT:
“So what do you need to know?” Bryce asked. The thought that the sooner they got business done, the sooner they might get to other things was not in his mind at all. No way.
It turned out to be pretty much what he’d expected. Tom broke out a tablet on which he already had a list of pack members’ names. He jotted down the brief additional details Bryce offered and asked some open-ended questions, which Bryce answered in a meandering way that gave away precisely nothing. Then Tom wanted to examine for himself the potential hostile zone.
“You mean the house and ranch?”
Tom’s lips curved again into that grin. It did something quite remarkable to what was otherwise a serious-looking face, and Bryce found he wanted to keep seeing it. “Sorry,” Tom said. “Occupational hazard, using jargon.”
“I hear you,” Bryce said. “Like when I exit the vehicle in the vicinity of the building, rather than get out of my car at home.”
The grin widened. “Is it okay if I take a look around? I’d like to see your territory as well as the house.”
Even though Bryce found himself smiling back, he was aware that there was a lively intelligence in those brown eyes. They might be smiling, but Tom’s focus on what he was here for hadn’t faltered in the slightest. Given the secrets the pack was guarding, that made him a little dangerous. 
“I’ll come with you,” he said. “Show you the lay of the land.”
“Thanks,” Tom said, then hesitated. “I think Tristan said he might help with that. Him and Colby.”
Well, yeah, but Bryce had given in to Tristan’s begging before he’d found out just how sharp Tom’s brain was. He didn’t want him spending time with Colby. He thought Colby would sooner be eaten alive by fire-ants than betray Matt and the pack, but he’d find it hard to answer any questions about how he came here without tipping off someone as alert as Tom that he was hiding something. And they couldn’t risk the wrong person finding out they’d had dealings with Cale’s pack, or they might just find themselves the next loose end to be cleaned up.
Bryce shrugged casually and let his eyes run appreciatively over Tom again. It wasn’t exactly a hardship. “Yeah, but I can show you things Tristan can’t,” he said, and bounced his eyebrows suggestively.
Tom was grinning in genuine amusement. “Bet you say that to all the National Council aides.”
“I’m going to have to find out. You’re the first I’ve met so far,” Bryce said.
Tom laughed, but Bryce could see his brain was still working. He was probably wondering why Bryce had changed his mind about Tristan and Colby showing him around.
“Also,” Bryce confided, “Colby’s—well, he’s just come out of a really bad relationship, met Tristan, and found out they’re mates. To be honest, the two of them could do with some time alone.”
Tom’s eyes softened as he nodded in understanding. Bryce was glad—not only had he steered him away from asking Colby questions about his past, but it also seemed as if Tom was a genuinely good guy. Added to the attractive exterior, that made him quite a package. One Bryce would very much like to spend some time opening.
“How do you want to do this?” Bryce asked, getting to his feet.
Tom’s eyebrows rose. “And there I was, thinking you were a little more experienced than that,” he said with a wicked grin that made Bryce choke. He was pretty sure he was going to get lucky later.
They decided to shift so Bryce could show him the pack territory first. And damn it, Tom wasn’t supposed to be just as attractive in wolf form as in human. He was lithe, his pelt a glossy dark gray, and he had the sort of awareness of his surroundings that Bryce had only previously observed in Matt and Karl. Tom might be attractive—okay, no might about it—but Bryce would do well to remember he was potentially dangerous. He hated the predictable way he found that knowledge even more enticing. It was the same thing that had always attracted him to Matt—the dangerous edge, the knowledge that he wasn’t entirely safe.
He shook his head impatiently, not willing to entertain those thoughts, and led the way out of the yard with Tom close on his heels.

BUY LINKS:  Amazon  |  Amazon UK  |  Kobo

MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:

Though I've not read the previous books in this series it was easy to become immersed in this story as the characters are engaging and the action scenes fast-paced and heart-pounding.  The Elk Ridge pack is in danger with a mystical Argent shifter among them and doing everything they can to stay safe....even if that means inviting the enemy into their safe haven.  It's not only a mystery on a political level but a mystery of the heart for pack beta Bryce and the kindhearted political aide Tom who's reeling from being dumped for being boring.  Theirs is a battle to put past hurts behind them, and stay one step ahead of those sent to kill them for the secrets they know, in  order to reach their HEA.

Tom is a truly good guy in the cesspool of Washington.  He believes the best of everyone until it's too late in his work life and love life.  He's then left with not only a broken heart but a target on his back that only Bryce can save him from.  Tom is immediately drawn to Bryce's carefree nature and after being called boring by his ex he's ready to jump at the opportunity for fun Bryce offers him.  Their casual relationship soon becomes something more that he's willing to embrace wholeheartedly but Bryce balks which puts their HEA in doubt.  It's not until Tom's life is in danger that Bryce realizes how lucky he is by what fate gave him, but by then it might be too late.

Bryce is the fun-loving one of the pack, the one that keeps them whole.  He enjoys his casual hook-ups and doesn't want anything more, but fate has other plans.  He's still has feelings for his best friend, and pack leader, as he was his first and their connection is still as strong though he's moved on to another.  Bryce doesn't think he's capable of loving someone else but finds himself consumed by thoughts of Tom that have him putting his life on the line to save what he's thrown away.

Bryce and Tom are cute together with their lingering glances and playful interactions.  Sexual tension constantly surrounds them from the moment they meet which leads to some very steamy and sensual scenes.  Though their love seems to evolve quickly it felt believable as their connection is richly depicted.  The connection between them is fun and heartwarming and seeing the other members of the pack make for an even more endearing read as they're each protective of the other and don't hesitate to bring Tom into their fold.  Though the importance of the Argent isn't quite clear and many of the pack are still a mystery this was still an entertaining read.  This book can be read on its own but the connections between the pack members will be much clearer, and the overall storyline more rewarding, if the other installments are read first.  Fans of the paranormal, and steamy man-lovin', will find this a satisfying read that leaves you wanting to know what comes next.

My rating for this is a B+

*I received this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

AUTHOR INFO:

Joy Lynn Fielding is a sucker for happy endings. She believes, however, that if characters don’t suffer along the way, they won’t fully appreciate being happy. Not all of her characters thank her for this viewpoint, but what do they know?
Joy lives in a small English market town, but also inhabits a number of fictional worlds at any one time, reflecting what she’s writing and what she’s reading. She has a tendency to share enthusiastically with anyone who will listen the latest fascinating facts she’s stumbled across in her research for books. Thankfully she has a very patient Labrador, who has a gift for looking as though he’s interested in what she’s saying while he waits for the food to arrive.

**********GIVEAWAY**********

a Rafflecopter giveaway

24 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for having me here today, Jody. I'm also grateful to you for taking the time to review 'Shifting Sands' and am delighted you enjoyed it!

    I'll be popping in and out all day if anyone has any comments or questions for me. :)

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  2. Thanks for the review and giveaway

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Robbie, and good luck in the giveaway!

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  3. Thank you for the blog post and review. And opportunity to win!

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    1. Thanks, Jen, and the best of luck in the draw!

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  4. I enjoyed this excerpt - this is a new series to me. Thanks for the giveaway.

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    1. Hi Michelle, and I'm so glad you enjoyed the excerpt! Good luck in the draw. :)

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  5. Thanks for the great review and excerpt - I have this series on my wish list.
    Looking forward to reading this.

    lgrant1@san.rr.com

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    1. That's lovely to hear, Lisa - thank you!

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  6. Thank you for the review and excerpt! <3 and especially for the contest! :D

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    1. Thank you for reading and commenting! Good luck in the draw. :)

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  7. Love your random factoids! I see no problem with an excess of knowledge. After all, some people suffer from a lack of it, so you can share! ;)

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    1. I *love* the way you think, Ashley!! Thank you for making me cackle into my coffee. :)

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  8. This is on my TBR :)
    doucook@yahoo.com

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  9. thank for the review and the giveaway

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    1. Thank you for commenting, Roger, and the best of luck in the giveaway.

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  10. Sounds like a great book and I will be adding it to my TBR list! Thanks for the giveaway! M8231m@aol.com

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    1. Thanks, Maggie, and the best of luck in the giveaway!

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  11. It sounds like a great book adding it to my TBR list.

    ShirleyAnn@speakman40.freeserve.co.uk

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    1. Thanks, ShirleyAnn. Good luck in the draw!

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  12. This was such a good book! I'm a huge fan of Joy's and this is one of my favorite shifter series. I love the fact that the characters in each book have their own story but that past characters also continue to appear. The adventure gets better with each story too.... I'm already excited about the next book!

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    1. Carly, that's so very kind of you and absolutely lovely to hear - thank you so much! :D

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