Budget Book Rec: My top 5 places to find budget books!

This week, I thought I’d share some of the places I find the budget books that feed my reading habit. Some of these may be familiar, but hopefully at least one or two will be new!

Obviously, it’s a good idea to follow your favorite authors on social media, so you know when their books go on sale. Unfortunately, given the ever-changing world of social media, their posts might not always turn up on your timeline. It’s a good idea to have more options at the ready.

And what about new authors? Sure, everyone’s favorites put out a book a month or so, so you could subsist on a diet of those books alone. I’m sure many (many!) readers do just that. If they’re happy, then more power to them! I could never be happy doing that. For me, reading needs to have some surprises—even in Romance, where you know how it will end—I love it when the journey surprises me. Something about the story or the way it’s told, even in M/M Romance where tropes are king, has to be unexpected, or I might as well just re-read the same book over and over. And I do that sometimes—I’m a big re-reader. That strategy has the added bonus of being much cheaper than buying new books—even sale books!

Even with re-reading and following my favorites, I check out the resources below on the regular so I won’t miss out.


1.      Facebook Groups

If there’s a sub-genre, there’s a Facebook Group to talk about it & promote it! Find them using hashtags, by following your favorite authors (which will then lead you to new authors also posting in those groups), and letting Facebook recommend them to you. A good place to start is my group Rainbow Snippets. Many authors post from their books and WIPs, and you might get a recommendation to a new-to-you Facebook group when you visit! At the very least you’ll be able to read a few bite-sized snips of queer fiction–or maybe a few dozen, it’s different every week!

2.     Amazon Top 100 Lists

The next time you’re browsing on Amazon, check out the categories of the books you’re interested in. If you click on one of those, you’ll find two lists of Top 100 books—paid and free. I usually find something interesting on the free list, which leads me to new authors and their catalogs.

3.     Twitter hashtags

Search on sub-genre or trope or any part of the book you’re looking for! Someday I’ll put together a list of the hashtags I use. If you have any suggestions please drop them in the comments!

4.     Prolific Works

Check out their Group Giveaways on the landing page and also by genre. I have a ton of books I’ve claimed and it’s fun going through them. You never know what gems you’ll find! 😀

5.     Book Riot

Sign up for their newsletter and get deals in your inbox as often as you’d like! These are sales, usually not free books, but you’ll find any genre & sub-genre under the sun. It’s a great newsletter if you’re in the mood to break out of your comfort zone!

Speaking of newsletters! If you like angsty MM Romance, you might like my work. Subscribe to my newsletter and get a free ebook so you can decide for yourself! Click here to subscribe.

For more budget book recs, click here.


Charley Descoteaux's signature rainbow rose

Guest Author: Joe Cosentino!

Welcome back to Joe Cosentino! Today he’s visiting to talk about his new release, Drama Muscle. I just love this cover!

Hello, Joe. Welcome back!

It’s great to visit again.


It seems like you’ve written a great deal this year.

My friends tease me that I write faster than they can read. My mother said, “I like your books, but maybe you should get a life.” I wonder if Stephen King’s mother said that to him. Hah. My novellas An Infatuation and A Shooting Star did so well as e-books that Dreamspinner Press is releasing them together as a paperback on March 21. So many readers told me those novellas changed their lives, which makes me so proud. Dreamspinner Press also released my holiday short novella taking place on the gorgeous island of Capri, A Home for the Holidays, in December, and they are releasing my gay take on favorite fairytales, The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland, on January 27.


And Lethe Press is publishing your Nicky and Noah mystery series. Why did you set the series in a university?

As a college professor/department head, I have always been aware that colleges are rife with mystery, romance, and humor. In each book Nicky and Noah eavesdrop, seduce, role play, and finally trap the murderer, as pandemonium, hilarity, and true love ensue for a happily ever after ending—until the next book. The Nicky and Noah mysteries are set in an Edwardian style university founded originally by a gay couple (Tree and Meadow) whose name the university bears: Treemeadow College. It is a gay cozy mystery comedy series, meaning the setting is warm and cozy, the clues and murders (and laughs) come fast and furious, there are enough plot twists and turns and a surprise ending to keep the pages turning, and at the center is a touching gay romance between Associate Professor of Directing Nicky Abbondanza and Assistant Professor of Acting Noah Oliver. Along the way, Nicky and Noah fall in love, as I’ve heard the readers fall in love with them.


When did the first book release?

Drama Queen, released in June as an e-book, paperback, and audiobook with Michael Gilboe performing all twenty-four roles. Reviewers called Drama Queen hysterically funny farce, Murder She Wrote meets Hart to Hart meets The Hardy Boys, and a captivating whodunit with a surprise ending. One reviewer said it was the funniest book of the year! Who am I to argue? In Drama Queen college theatre professors were dropping like stage curtains and amateur sleuths/college theatre professors Nicky and Noah had to use their theatre skills, including impersonating other people, to figure out whodunit. When the e-book reached the Amazon bestsellers list in its category and sold like tickets to The Lion King on Broadway, it was time for another Nicky and Noah mystery.


Which is why you stopped by to visit today. So tell us about Drama Muscle, the current Nicky and Noah mystery.

In Drama Muscle Nicky and Noah don their gay Holmes and Watson personas again to find out who is murdering musclemen in the Bodybuilding Department. In the novel Nicky is directing bodybuilding students in Treemeadow College’s annual Bodybuilding competition on campus. Bodybuilding students and faculty drop faster than barbells until Nicky figures out the identity of the murderer, as well as Noah’s secret revolving around Van Granite, one of the bodybuilding professors. Noah’s hysterically funny parents visit from Wisconsin and are drawn into the action, and Nicky and Noah reach a milestone by the end of the novel.


Why did you set the second novel in the Bodybuilding Department—besides the obvious reason?

As someone who attempted bodybuilding and ended up with a frozen shoulder, pulled lower back, and bruised ego, I have always been fascinated with bodybuilders. The concept of eating protein every two hours, lifting weights for three hours a day, shaving every body part, spray tanning, and posing in tiny gold trunks is amazing to me. When watching a bodybuilding competition on television (okay, maybe more than one) I noticed the link between bodybuilding and theatre. So I realized the second Nicky and Noah mystery would take place in the Bodybuilding Department at Treemeadow College.


Like you, Nicky is an Italian American college theatre professor. Is he based on you?

Actually Martin Anderson, Nicky and Noah’s department head, is based on me. He’s a loyal, hardworking department head and professor who fully supports his faculty colleagues, office assistant, and the students in his department. Like me, he is also a little bit, well quite a bit, of a gossip. Nicky is a terrific character. He has to flirt his way into some places to get certain information, so his handsome face, muscular body, and huge penis (yes!) are definitely assets. Most of all, Nicky uses his theatre skills to impersonate others and his smarts, always a fine asset in an amateur detective. Nicky has such amazing wit, perseverance in the face of adversity, and smarts. I love his sense of determination in not only nabbing the murderer, but also getting his man—Noah. Nicky knows what he wants and how to get it. He is genuinely concerned for others, and he wants to help them. He also has no problem taking on the role of hero. Finally, he is a one-man man, and Nicky is proud to admit that man is Noah Oliver. However, my favorite character in book two is Noah’s mother who is devoted to her son—almost as much as she’s devoted to her camera!


Are the other characters in the book based on your faculty colleagues and students?

My colleagues kid me that if anybody at my college ticks me off, I kill him/her in the series? Hah. To be honest, I like my colleagues and students too much to murder them in my books. The other characters and the location came from my head. As my mother says, “How do you think up all these crazy things? Well, you always were a bit crazy as a kid.”


Which character in the current novel is most unlike you?

Professor of Bodybuilding Van Granite has huge muscles and a chin like granite, but he appears to be after Noah. Since Noah is with Nicky, that’s a definite no-no.


How do you find the time to be a college professor/department head and write all these books?

I’ve cloned myself. Hah. Actually I write in the evenings. Being a little tired helps loosen my creative energies and flow. Plus my spouse has gone to bed, so the house is quiet. The voices in my head are free to take over—and they do!


Is it hard to write comedy?

I’ve always had a funny mind. I can hear almost anything and see the humor in it. I think I get this from my mother. For example, for Christmas one year my parents bought me a sweater and my sister a house. When I asked my mother if I was an orphan, she replied, “Orphans don’t have sweaters. Appreciate what you have.”


Why do you write gay fiction?

Obviously gay stories are part of my life. Also, there are still many untold stories about gay people. Go to the mall and look at the movie posters sans any gay characters on them. However, just as my Jana Lane mystery series with its gay supporting characters has huge crossover appeal for gay people, the Nicky and Noah series with its straight supporting characters has a tremendous amount of crossover appeal for straight people. Besides, everybody likes a clever mystery, a sweet romance, and a good laugh.


Tell us about your Jana Lane mystery series.

I created a heroine who was the biggest child star ever until she was attacked on the studio lot at eighteen years old. In Paper Doll (Whiskey Creek Press), Jana at thirty-eight lives with her family in a mansion in picturesque Hudson Valley, New York. Her flashbacks from the past become murder attempts in her future. Forced to summon up the lost courage she had as a child, Jana ventures back to Hollywood, which helps her uncover a web of secrets about everyone she loves. She also embarks on a romance with the devilishly handsome son of her old producer, Rocco Cavoto. In Porcelain Doll (releasing from The Wild Rose Press on March 15), Jana makes a comeback film and uncovers who is being murdered on the set and why. Her heart is set aflutter by her incredibly gorgeous co-star, Jason Apollo. In Satin Doll (not yet released from The Wild Rose Press), Jana and family head to Washington, DC, where Jana plays a US senator in a new film, and becomes embroiled in a murder and corruption at the senate chamber. She also embarks on a romance with Chris Bruno, the muscular detective. In China Doll (not yet released from The Wild Rose Press), Jana heads to New York City to star in a Broadway play, enchanted by her gorgeous co-star Peter Stevens, and faced with murder on stage and off. Since the novels take place in the 1980’s, Jana’s agent and best friend are gay, and Jana is somewhat of a gay activist, the AIDS epidemic is a large part of the novels.


What’s next for you as a writer?

Nine Star Press is publishing my two novels that take place at a gay summer resort on the Jersey Shore: Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back and Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward.


You are certainly prolific. Best wishes with all of your books!

Right back at you. Keep up the good work! And, readers, please contact me via my web site at http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com. Let’s all pump up—or at least read Drama Muscle.


Buy Drama Muscle:

Lethe Press: http://www.lethepressbooks.com/store/p353/Drama_Muscle%3A_A_Nicky_and_Noah_Mystery.html

Amazon: myBook.to/DramaMuscle



It could be lights out for college theatre professor Nicky Abbondanza. With dead bodybuilders popping up on campus, Nicky, and his favorite colleague/life partner Noah Oliver, must use their drama skills to figure out who is taking down pumped up musclemen in the Physical Education building before it is curtain down for Nicky and Noah. Complicating matters is a visit from Noah’s parents from Wisconsin, and Nicky’s suspicion that Noah may be hiding more than a cut, smooth body. You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat entertaining second novel in this delightful series. Curtain up and weights up!


As the ethereal sound of horns parted the heavenly clouds, the young gods and goddesses appeared in a ray of white light. Standing as strong as the stone columns behind them, the deities displayed stunning muscles, colossal beauty, and mammoth ambition housed in the smallest and most seductive of white garments. Lightning flashed as they formed a resilient line and each struck their first flawless pose. Zeus was dark-skinned and as powerful as thunder. Ganymede at his side had skin of white porcelain and a clever stare. Hercules and Adonis were the perfect blend of masculine vigor and physical splendor. Athena was a gorgeous, olive-skinned warrior, and Aphrodite a lovely, fair-skinned temptress. Achilles watched them all, vowing to be victorious in the end.

“Good work, everyone!”

That was me, Nicky Abbondanza, Professor of Directing at Treemeadow College, a white-stone Edwardian-style private college in the quaint and picturesque village of Treemeadow in the equally quaint and picturesque state of Vermont. As inscribed on the two bronze statues at the college’s entrance, the college’s name comes from its founders, Harold Tree and Jacob Meadow. Tree and Meadow were madly wealthy, madly generous, and madly in love. The old gents would no doubt be proud to know that Noah Oliver (Professor of Acting) and I have become a current generation couple at Treemeadow College. That’s not to say Noah and I look anything like our college’s founders. We aren’t made of bronze for one. We wear dress shirts, slacks, and blazers in the fall season rather than heavy dark suits. Also, the Treemeadows were small, thin, scholarly types. Noah and I are both tall. I am of the dark hair, long sideburns, Roman nose, pumped body (thanks to the gym on campus) variety. Oh, there’s one other small thing. Well, it’s not really small. To the delight or horror of my past boyfriends, I have a nine-and-a-quarter-inch penis—flaccid. Luckily, Noah is delighted and totally open (pardon the pun) to new adventures. Noah has luxurious curly-blond hair, batting blue eyes, and the warmest heart in New England. His body is firm and smooth, but not toned as he never goes near the gym—until now!

Each year the top students in the Bodybuilding Department compete in a contest to be named the Top Toned Tan Trojan at Treemeadow (Try saying that three times fast). Actually, the real name is Treemeadow’s Annual Bodybuilding Competition. The winner receives an enormous gold cup, and more importantly, the year’s college tuition free. Given the rising cost of tuition at Treemeadow, this is no lightweight matter (pardon the pun again).

Bodybuilding Department Head Professor Brick Strong asked my Theatre Department Head, Martin Anderson, if Noah and I could use our theatrical expertise to add a dramatic flair to this year’s bodybuilding competition. Since I was not directing a play that semester, Martin agreed to give Noah and me release time, thereby changing our mantra from “Let’s put on a show” to “I’m gonna pump you up.” That led to Noah and me hauling lighting, smoke, sound, and set equipment, along with a number of skimpy Greek period costumes, from the Theatre Department building to the Physical Education building. The plan was that I, as a directing professor, would direct the production, and Noah, as an acting professor, would work with the student-athletes on stage presence for their individual poses.

“Okay everyone, Professor Oliver will take it from here.” I stepped aside and leaned against the gym wall.

Noah flicked back his gorgeous blond locks and took my place in front of the students like a new king taking the throne after a revolution. Sounding delectably butch, he said, “Let’s take a little time to discuss each of your characters. The Greek period was a—”

“That’s the period we’ve selected for the competition in terms of characters, set, and costumes,” I said.

Noah smiled in my direction.

I think Noah and I are the perfect couple. “Rodney, we know that your character, Zeus, was the father of gods and men—” Rodney Towers was tall, dark, and massive with muscle. “—which is why your toga has a thunderbolt on it,” I said.

Noah stiffened.

“I’m always happy to help,” I said.

“So I see.”

“But Professor Oliver is totally in charge now. So everyone, please listen to Professor Oliver,” I said.

“Thank you.” Focusing back on Zeus, rather Rodney, Noah said, “The Greek gods in mythology were part god and part human—”

“Which is why I selected this motif for the competition. You all have human emotion, but your strength and powers are supernatural.”

“Right,” said Noah with a tight jaw.

I folded my arms across my chest. “Professor Oliver is really good at working on character development, so pay close attention to him.”

Noah took in a deep breath. “And the Greek gods were quite amorous—”

“With both sexes,” I said. “Zeus and Ganymede were just one pair of famous lovers who influenced the arts.”

“Excuse me, everyone.” Noah put a hand on my shoulder and ushered me to a corner of the gym. “Nicky, I appreciate your help, but—”

I put my arm around Noah. “You don’t need to thank me. I love you, and I am always here to help you.”

“Well can you please…stop?”

“Did I say something wrong?” I asked dumbfounded.

“I would like to be able to finish a sentence! Will you let me do that?”

“Of course.”

“Thank you.”

“I won’t say another word,” I said as we walked back to the students.

“Promise?” Noah whispered in my ear.

“Of course.” I looked at my watch. “You should move the rehearsal along, since there’s lots more to do.”


About the Author:

Amazon Bestselling author Joe Cosentino wrote Drama Queen and Drama Muscle Nicky and Noah mysteries (Lethe Press), An Infatuation, A Shooting Star, A Home for the Holidays, The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press), Cozzi Cove: Bouncing Back (Nine Star Press), Paper Doll (Whiskey Creek Press) and Porcelain Doll (Wild Rose Press) Jana Lane mysteries, and The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Eldridge Plays and Musicals). He has appeared in principal acting roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, and Jason Robards. His one-act plays, Infatuation and Neighbor, were performed in New York City. He wrote The Perils of Pauline educational film (Prentice Hall Publishers). Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. His upcoming novels are Drama Cruise Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press), Satin Doll and China Doll Jana Lane mysteries (Wild Rose Press), and Cozzi Cove: Moving Forward (Nine Star Press).


Web site: http://www.JoeCosentino.weebly.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/JoeCosentinoauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoeCosen

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4071647.Joe_Cosentino

Amazon: Author.to/JoeCosentino


Publisher: Lethe Press

Cover Art: Denny Minonne

Cover Design: Inkspiral Design


Guest Author: Siobhan Muir!

Today i’m pleased to welcome the sweet and lovely Siobhan Muir! She’s brought her paranormal sweet romance, A Centaur’s Solstice Wish. Those of you familiar with Siobhan’s work know she’s an amazing writer and storyteller, but maybe you didn’t know she also has a fondness for writing about men who love men.

Welcome, Siobhan! Thank you for visiting!


Interesting word. It means to search through information again, to look hard at something before writing or speaking about it. Charley invited me to her blog and suggested I write about my research for my latest release of A Centaur’s Solstice Wish.

Hmm. Research. Here’s the thing about researching fantasy. Of course we have the well known fantasy authors like Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Piers Anthony. And we can add J.K. Rowling to the list. All of them have created extraordinary fantasy worlds and all have included centaurs. I’ve read all of them, too, and I like all of them for different reasons and different tales.

But when it comes to world building and research into fantasy, I didn’t want to recreate their worlds. I had my own ideas of centaurs and how they behaved. So I used the knowledge I’d learned from reading about centaurs from other authors, and started to create my own world.

Centaurs in my world tend to follow a military regime, and live in a harem structure much like horses in our world. They don’t have the hang-ups about homosexuality we humans do, but it still is unusual enough not to broadcast. They refer to distances in lengths, strides, and hands, and they worship the Goddess Epona as their main deity.

Because they worship the Goddess, I decided I wanted a Pagan-style devotion for my characters. This gave me the opportunity to talk to friends who follow that path and find out more about Solstice celebrations. While I didn’t mention them heavily, it gave me insight into how my characters would react to things. Building the world for my centaurs has been a real treat because I can add or delete things from it as I choose, and yet the world isn’t unfinished.

I hope you enjoy my centaurs from the Rifts world and Sedgewick and Ronin in particular. They are unusual centaurs in that they’ve never been interested in mares, but they certainly don’t shy from showing each other love and affection.


A Centaur’s Solstice Wish, by Siobhan Muir

When making wishes on the Hunter’s star…

It will take more than wishes to improve Sedgewick Icetrotter’s Solstice. After being sent to the infirmary, again, for dislocating his shoulder while stringing his bow, he figures he’s got a snowball’s chance in hell to impress the centaur he loves. Until Corporal Ronin Creekjumper brings in two injured centaurs suffering from unusual insect bites, and Sedgewick knows how to treat them.

Ronin can’t believe his good luck when Sedgewick saves his men. It also gives him a chance to do more than light candles for his injured friend. Ronin takes the chance and invites Sedgewick to spend the Solistice holiday together. Just the two of them.

And a pack of hungry dire wolves who’d like to put Sedgewick on the menu. Who says Solstice can’t be exciting?

Buy A Centaur’s Solstice Wish:


About Siobhan:

Siobhan Muir lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming, with her husband, two daughters, and a vegetarian cat she swears is a shape-shifter, though he’s never shifted when she can see him. When not writing, she can be found looking down a microscope at fossil fox teeth, pursuing her other love, paleontology. An avid reader of science fiction/fantasy, her husband gave her a paranormal romance for Christmas one year, and she was hooked for good.

In previous lives, Siobhan has been an actor at the Colorado Renaissance Festival, a field geologist in the Aleutian Islands, and restored inter-planetary imagery at the USGS. She’s hiked to the top of Mount St. Helens and to the bottom of Meteor Crater.

Siobhan writes kick-ass adventure with hot sex for men and women to enjoy. She believes in happily ever after, redemption, and communication, all of which you will find in her paranormal romance stories.

Siobhan’s latest release, A Centaur’s Solstice Wish, is the second story in her new Rifts series. She has published A Hell Hound’s Fire (a free read), The Beltane Witch, and Cloudburst Ice Magic in the Cloudburst Colorado series. Siobhan has also published Bronco’s Rough Ride and The Navy’s Ghost in the Bad Boys of Beta Squad series, Not a Dragon’s Standard Virgin and Queen Bitch of the Callowwood Pack through Siren Publishing, and Her Devoted Vampire through Evernight Publishing.

Find Siobhan:

Website: http://siobhanmuir.com

Blog: http://siobhanmuir.blogspot.com

Google Plus: http://plus.google.com/u/0/118081545120488658410/posts

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Official.Siobhan.Muir

Twitter: http://twitter.com/SiobhanMuir

Tsu.co: http://www.tsu.co/SiobhanMuir

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5760938.Siobhan_Muir

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/siobhanmuir35

All Romance: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html?searchBy=author&qString=Siobhan+Muir

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Siobhan-Muir/e/B007CRB2F6/

Bookstrand: http://www.bookstrand.com/siobhan-muir