Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Welcome back everyone to read the latest entry in our diary! Today I need to tell you about the awesomeness that is Loving Red

Let's learn a little about Alisha:

Alisha Costanzo is from a Syracuse suburb. She earned her MFA in creative writing from the University of Central Oklahoma, where she currently teaches English. She’s the author of BLOOD PHOENIX: REBIRTH and BLOOD PHOENIX: CLAIMED, and co-editor of DISTORTED. UNDERWATER, her new anthology, is undergoing serious edits for its 2016 release. In the meantime, she will continue to corrupt young minds, rant about the government, and daydream about her all around nasty creatures.
Don't miss your chance to stalk Alisha:

Book TIME!!!
Title: Loving Red
Series: Loving Red, Book 1
Author: Alisha Costanzo
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: 2K1CH

**Disclaimer:  A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review.

For Sergeant Severins Bouvier, silence means tactical planning and a large death toll, and he can’t shake how danger threatens him on the beaches of Miami, especially after seeing one of his associates in a local sandwich shop. Worse, the enemy seems fascinated with the woman he can’t stop thinking about—a woman determined not to trust him.

Everything about Sev crashes through Kaia’s carefully placed boundaries, traps, and avoidances. Regardless of her lack of interest in the majority of men, the ones that did catch her off guard left a lot of collateral damage. Who better than a soldier to understand that?

The problem is that she trusts him. Just not with her heart.
Let me said off by saying how awesome this book was! I loved Severins character. And to put the cherry on top, he is a wolf shifter. This chick right here LOVES SHIFTERS! There is nothing more sexy than an alpha man that has an animal side.

Severins Bouvier is this super sexy Army Sergeant that is all alpha man that has sights set on Kaia Skarin. This dude catches her scent while riding down the street. Sev has no time to have a relationship but he has time to play and he wants to play, wink wink, with Kaia.

Kaia Skarin is on a time-out from all men. She just went through a bad breakup and is completely heart broken. Right before Kaia is planning to clock off work, a sexy Army man walks into her office "needing" a bookkeeper. Yea Kaia could smell that bull a mile away after she got Sev into her office. Kaia played her best game of hard to get but still ended up at lunch with Severins. Unfortunately for Kaia, Sev was not the only man out to get her.

Sev did not know what he was in for when he went out with Kaia. Heck, nobody could've suspected a group of bosex would come after Kaia to get to her dickhead ex-boyfriend Dev. Kaia hadn't even talked to Dev since a bear attacked her one night and he pretty much hung up on her...dickhead. Anywho, Kaia should be over the moon excited that Sev walked into her life when he did because stuff got real fast. Sev kinda got the short end of this stick because he feels like Kaia may be his mate plus this bosex group brought his family into the mix.

OMG Loving Red was awesome-sauce!!!! Severins and Kaia made a perfect couple. This book was a breath of fresh air because Kaia just didn't fall for Sev's charm. There are so many books where the main woman's role is all in her feelings about a man not running her and as soon as a strong male character appears the chick comes, sits, and eats on command...anyway I digress. Seeing the way that Sev interacts with Kaia while trying to keep her safe but also doing the work needed to gain her trust was great. I think the winner winner chicken dinner for Kaia was seeing Severins interact with his daughter. GOODNESS there is nothing sexier then seeing a man be a great father. It's like can I bang you now please? LOL Now the kicker for me was when Kaia protected herself and fought back by saying The Lords Prayer. In my mind I was screaming YEAK! That's how you fight an enemy. The only thing about Loving Red that I was unhappy about was the ending. I won't spoil it for other readers but I was definitely expecting more.

Overall Loving Red is scorchingly wicked!!!Like I would pay money for a sexy wolf shifter to stalk me and later say I'm his mate. Does that sound desperate? LOL

Don't forget to your copy:

"Why I am writing as a male." by Alisha Costanzo

Writing in the male perspective is akin to freedom. And although I love to write empowered women in their various levels or snark, sarcasm, stubbornness, sweetness, and strength, something about slipping into a male’s persona liberates me. Granted, most of the time, I find it easier.

No. This isn’t because I believe males are less complex than females. In general terms, we’re much the same. But I’ve always fancied male friends over females ones, listening to them fight over videogames, tease each other, argue with no fallout, and bond without the need to shop for shoes, talk about the opposite sex (although that can happen with men as much as with women), gush about their feelings, or manipulate for their own gains.

Okay, I know, it seems like I’m giving women a bad name here. I’m not. I’m a feminist with all of those negative connotations attached. I don’t hate men, and I don’t hate women. I merely think more like a man.

In fact, I’ve taken the gender personality test, which my husband gave me in his first years as a Psychology major, and I came out close to 50-50 on the scale—a half of a point leaning towards male rather than female.

And don’t get me wrong. I can be a damn girl sometimes, too. Just throw a spider at me. I squeal and jump and climb on chairs until someone else comes to kill it or put it outside. I like shoes and purses, although I never wear heels and I hate to carry a purse. Go figure. I love being a wife and taking care of my husband. I love to cook for him—most days. I’m motherly toward my students, calling them my kids, giving them advice, and most times, merely listening when they need to talk.

But man, I love the power of being a male on the page. This started with my alternate personas online, via facebook roleplaying. I knew how to be tough and dirty, how to flatter a woman properly, how to flirt and be perverse without overstepping my bounds, how to show just enough sensitivity and pain that women would fall for me. And I wasn’t a slut or a whore or trying too hard. Even when I was all of those things.

Again, I don’t believe males and females are all that different from one another. How can we be? We’re all human. Yes, yes. The hormones. Blah. So I become a bitch every once in a while. Men can be assholes. What’s your point?

Okay, maybe I need to reign in my own point here.

Stereotypes and sexism still affect us. (No, I won’t get on a rant about this; you’re safe to keep reading). So being a male is liberating. I love being a romantic goofball without being needy. Although men, you can be damn needy, too (*coughs and whispers my husband’s name*). I love swearing like a sailor, having tattoos, doing the heavy lifting, grossing people out, and being the real pervert that I am, and not only being found attractive for it, but being the ideal male.

But the best part is my ability to show how a man can be more than what the media portrays him as—more than a set of six-pack abs, bulging arms, scruff, and testosterone. Instead I show men as geeks and goobers, who want to be held, and have fears. They can be melodramatic, lonely, and just as good of a caretaker as a woman. They don’t have to be knights in shining armor. Instead, they’re free to be partners.

Boden and Eilion, two of my fae, have quickly become favorites of mine for their inability to hide their emotions, to run when they’re outmatched, and for breaking the stereotypes. Since I love them, why wouldn’t I love writing in their perspectives?

Excerpt Time

Sach met them on the small porch with a .22 rifle pointed at the woods behind him, likely loaded with silver and cold iron since no bullets existed to kill vampires, but a well-placed shot would slow one down. Kaia moved fast and disappeared inside in under a minute. Thank the Gods she took direction well. When a soldier didn’t learn to obey, they tended to die. Lacey trotted out of the trees and up to the porch, changing into her dark almond form and trailing her hands over Sach’s front as she rounded him. She peered over his shoulder to meet Severins’ gaze. “One fell into a trap, and the others ran off scared. She won’t get out anytime soon, so when you’re ready for her...” Her hand dipped down between Sach’s legs, and he grunted. Lacey had a reputation for sexual aggression after her transformations, especially when she fought. “Wake Dylan to take your watch.” He merely nodded to her, and she sauntered back into the woods. “Looks like you need clothes.” “I could do with that.” Sach nodded inside, and Severins followed, walking into the cabin he knew too well to see Kaia sitting in front of the glowing coals in the fireplace. The way she looked him over gave him a charge, and he worked hard to control himself. She turned away with blush on her cheeks and neck, shoving an aroused growl through his chest. But Severins tailed Sach into the single bedroom, where he gained a new Army issued uniform with jacket and boots included to dress in. “Probably sick of that, but it’s what we’ve got to fit you. Surplus store in town.” Sach moved over to Dylan and whacked him with a rolled up newspaper. His brother sat up swinging, a full snarl on his mouth. “Go take watch.” “I just got to sleep.” “Argue with Lace about it.” Grumbling loudly, Dylan rolled out of bed and dressed, grabbing his gun and punching Severins in the shoulder on his way out. Nabbing the thick brush on the low dresser, Severins followed him, pushing him along when he stopped to whistle at Kaia. “Don’t try me, cuz.” “Just appreciating your taste.” Kaia sent him the same man-killing look Severins earned when he first asked her to dinner, and Severins laughed at its effectiveness. Her gaze warmed as she took in his uniform, a tiny smile lifted her lips when he neared her. “You’re right, you do look good in uniform.” He tossed the jacket and brush on the couch and sank down next to her. “Keeping warm?” “Yeah. I’m recovering. Do we know anything?” The skin of her cheek was soft under his thumb. “Not a lot. We’ve caught someone and need to interrogate her.” “Her?” Kaia’s pulse skipped into high gear. “So I’ve been told.” “They won’t torture her, will they?” Fear and concern leaned her into him, and he wrapped her up in his arms. “No. We won’t hurt her unless she makes us.” Nodding, she stroked his chest and sank into his embrace, and he traced the bumps of her spine through her sweatshirt. When her shoulders dropped from her ears, Severins shifted her in his lap and reached for the brush. “Let me brush your hair. It’ll help you feel a bit more normal.” “That would be nice.” Hugging her knees, she shook her hair out, trusting him not to hurt her. He’d learned the tricks to tangles when his daughter was three and her soft curls got long enough to knot together. Kaia’s hair was windblown but not terribly knotted, and Severins brushed out the ends, collecting it all in his hand before working up to her scalp. She sighed when he finished, running her hands through it and shaking it around before she looked over her shoulder at him. “Thank you.” Leaning forward, he grabbed her around the waist and pulled her back against him. His nose sank to her neck behind her ear, taking in the intoxicating spicy and citrus scent of her. “You’re welcome, beautiful. Why don’t you make yourself at home and take a nap on the couch. You didn’t get much rest when we stopped the last time.” The sound of her soft laughter eased his mind and tightened his body. “You must be a kind, gentle, and doting father, the way you’re taking care of me.” Grinning against her throat, he said, “The way I want to take care of you has nothing to do with my capabilities as a father, I promise you that.” Teeth at her skin, he gave her a sharp enough nip to make her shiver. “Well, your capabilities as a father might just make you more attractive.” His bites followed the curve up her neck. “Is that right?” Hand lifted to trace his jaw, her fingers found his high and tight again, and she sighed. “When you’re out, will you grow your hair or leave it like this?” A snort burst from him. “Well, I used to have long hair, so I’m sure I can manage to keep it at an easy, hair-pulling length.” A wide grin lit up her face, and she turned against him, those delicate fingers brushing over his brow, and she looked him over. Tension filled the gap between them, and she closed it, pressing her mouth over his with such a sweet and innocent kiss that pieces of him broke and reformed, making him the man he needed to be to love her right when the time came. Severins held onto her tightly, wishing they weren’t on the run, that he didn’t have to worry about her safety, and that he could woo her the right way with romantic nights and silly mornings of laughter and playfulness. She deserved nothing less. Yet here they were, hidden away in his cousins’ cabin in the Alabama boonies, trying to outrun a pack of Celampresians and in search of her ex—the man who broke her heart. The man they both protected. Was he running head first into the most stupid mistake he’d ever make?

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  1. Thank you for hosting me as well as the wonderful review. <3

    1. You are all kinds of welcome. The story was AWESOME!



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