Astrid Amara is one of those rare writing talents who has the ability to shine in all genres – science fiction, fantasy, romance – and her ability to thread humour through her stories appears effortless. Humour and dialogue are so important to my reading experience, a crucial key to my enjoyment of a story, and she nails both of them!
I have listed all her books below – in no particular order – and have added the links, where applicable, to those reviews which can be found here on LYLBTB. If you haven’t read any of Astrid’s books yet, what? why? NOOOO!!! Seriously – her range is so wide that whatever your reading preference is, she will have a book to suit. My first Astrid was Half Pass and I loved it! I then quickly bought more … Hell Cop 1 & 2 and the wonderful Bellski books. Irregulars. Demolished. The list goes on …. and I am really looking forward to her next book – Song of the Navigator.
Astrid is a member of one of my favourite writing groups – what could the collective noun be that describes Josh Lanyon, Ginn Hale, Nicole Kimberling and, of course, Astrid? Posse seems so inadequate a word, yet that is how I think of them. A pukka posse whose sum total is a true reflection of the awesome parts which make it up. ❤
And be sure to visit Astrid’s web site – she has such great bits’n’bobs on it, the links are at the bottom of the post! Enjoy! and if you have the time (and are so inclined), share with us which your first rec would be from Astrid’s back catalogue, and why.
SONG OF THE NAVIGATOR : Worst Possible Birthday: Being sold into slavery by none other than your lover.
Tover Duke’s rare ability to move anything instantly across light-years of space makes him a powerful, valuable asset to the Harmony Corporation, and a rock star among the people of the colonies. His life is luxurious. Safe. Routine.
He has his pick of casual hookups passing through Dadelus-Kaku Station. His one brush with danger of any kind—the only bright spot in his otherwise boring life—is Cruz Arcadio, a dark-haired, hard-bodied engineer whose physical prowess hints he’s something much more.
When a terrorist abducts Tover, hurling him into a world of torture, exploitation and betrayal, it’s with shattering disbelief that he realizes his kidnapper is none other than Cruz. As Tover struggles to find the courage to escape his bondage, he begins to understand the only way to free his body, his mind—and his heart—is to trust the one man who showed him that everything about his once-perfect life was a lie.
Warning: This story contains descriptions of extreme violence and assault. It also contains graphic sexual depictions. It also has a lot of birds. And pirate movies from the future. And romance.
224 pages I Published by Samhain May 26th, 2015.
A POLICY OF LIES : Twenty years ago, Levi Kaszeri survived a brutal rebellion on the mining colony of Tarus 9. Now as an aspiring reporter, Levi has a mission: to expose the massacre to the public, and bring the men responsible to justice.
But after a violent attack he is rescued then seduced by Tiergan Seoras, a young doctor with a dangerous past and a slave tattoo.
Soon Levi finds all of his investigations leading him back to Tiergan. And he begins to fear that the best lover he’s ever had may also be his worst enemy.
181 pages I Published by Loose Id September 9th, 2008.
THE VALDE : WATER : On Joel’s birthday, he watched his lover Charlie drown while saving Joel’s life. Since then, no other man has been able to match the erotic chemistry the two of them once shared.
But a year later Joel is shocked to discover Charlie alive and well, looking as mysterious and attractive as ever.
However Charlie is different. He has new, arcane superpowers. He doesn’t seem to remember Joel at all.
And he murders people with his bare hands.
Suddenly Joel finds himself on the run from both his lover, and a frightening group of dangerous individuals who can wield the elements at will, and who are determined to kill him to keep their secret safe.
But the smoldering looks Charlie gives Joel reminds him of their former, heated passion, and even with Charlie’s new homicidal tendencies, they discover their bodies remember what their minds may have forgotten…
91 pages I Published by Loose Id, April 2009.
HOLIDAY OUTING : It’s been years since Jonah Levinson has seen his parents. But now he is going to spend Hanukkah with them in order to finally tell them the truth: not only is he gay, but he is a successful author of gay novels and not the struggling (and straight) writer they imagine him to be.
But the holiday starts poorly. A record blizzard delays his flight. The snow storm locks him and his loud, argumentative relatives in the house. The power fails. And, worst of all, Jonah has to share his room with his childhood rival, the perfect Jewish son, the one he spent his entire life unfavorably compared to: Dr. Ethan Rosenberg, son of his mother’s mahjong partner, and apparently God’s gift to the Chosen People.
If this isn’t bad enough, Jonah has to interpret Ethan’s strange new fascination with him. Is Ethan flirting? Or is this just another trick to break Jonah’s heart?
But when a valuable family heirloom is stolen during the festivities and suspicion falls on Jonah, Ethan agrees to help prove Jonah’s innocence. They have eight days to do it. But will they solve the crime before the cooking oil – and everyone’s civility – runs out?
147 pages I Published by Loose Id December 23rd, 2008.
HELL COP : Welcome to Parmas City, where demons and sorcerers live among ordinary people and a few tough Hell Cops protect them all. Jay, Argent, and Ben are three of them, and they’ve just met the men of their hottest dreams.
Next of Kin by Astrid Amara
Jay Yervant is a Hell Cop so powerful that his bare skin incinerates anyone he contacts. Isolated, he is tortured by desire, until he meets Brian, a sensual young man who touches him with impunity. But Jay’s burgeoning hope is threatened when a malevolent sorcerer unleashes a host of demonic assassins against Brian. Keeping his lover may cost Jay his life.
Red Sands by Nicole Kimberling
Anthropologist Michael Gold’s got problems. His apartment’s been ransacked, his dad’s missing, and he’s been framed for murder. As a half-demon he expects trouble from the city’s Hell Cops. Instead, he gets Argent, a man with intimate knowledge of Michael and whom Michael can’t penetrate with his psychic powers. So does Argent want to clear him or expose him?
Touching Sparks by Ginn Hale
When photojournalist James Sparks discovers an underworld of sorcery, blood sports and demonic drug traffic, he turns to Detective Ben Moran, a hard-bodied Hell Cop whose touch sends James’s pulse racing. But when James uncovers evidence of police corruption he realizes that Moran may be in as much danger as he is.
280 pages I Published by Loose Id October 14th, 2008.
HELL COP 2 : Hell Cops have to do more than just serve and protect the humans, sorcerers, and demons of Parmas City. They also have to fight to keep their romances alive.
Trust Me by Astrid Amara
Brian Day’s no longer the naïve country boy Jay Yervant fell in love with. A hardened hell cop with dangerous powers, Brian’s osmotic abilities are growing out of control. When two men are found dead, killed by an osmotic, Jay wants to clear Brian’s name. But Brian’s erratic powers threaten even Jay’s survival, and he’s left wondering if his lover is as innocent as he claims.
Dark Waters by Nicole Kimberling
After a year of seeing Detective Argent, Michael Gold is uncertain about the future of their relationship. Can a liberal university professor and a Hell Cop find a happily ever after? When Michael invites Argent on an anthropological study, he thinks they’re performing an experiment in domesticity. But when a dead body appears, Michael and Argent end up playing detective instead of playing house.
Such Heights by Ginn Hale
Photojournalist James Sparks fled to the exotic Storm Palace to escape his relationship troubles. But soon he’s witness to a murder, and the man he least wants to deal with — his lover, Detective Ben Moran — is on the case.
322 pages I Published by Loose Id June 23rd, 2009.
LOVE AHEAD : EXPECT DELAYS : Austin thinks driving a 1989 Geo Spectrum fourteen hundred miles in the middle of winter is a bad idea. But he would never forgive himself if the man he loved, Zach Roth, got himself killed in Idaho, so he agrees to go.
Besides, he has something to prove. He wants Zach to know it’s more than just Zach’s deliciously wicked body he adores. And if it takes spending Hanukkah in Zach’s grandma’s old hatchback to prove it, then so be it.
Ever the optimist, Zach believes everything will turn out for the best. But bad weather, robberies, blown gaskets, run-ins with the police, and motel bedspreads of questionable cleanliness seem to conspire against them, and they may need eight days of miracles just to keep each other…and their romance…alive.
79 pages I Published by Loose Id November 30th, 2010.
INTIMATE TRAITORS : Armen Markus is a member of the resistance fighting the corrupt regime of the Council. He works as a double agent within the Council’s most notorious prison as Commanding Interrogator, with one special purpose: to keep the secrets of the rebellion safe.
When he discovers that his ex-lover, Ravi Jai, has been arrested, Armen wants to help him. But he can’t risk compromising his position. Now, more than ever, he must stay the course; for the Council has captured the man who has the one weapon needed to end the war, and Armen must find him.
But his newfound power over Ravi proves too much of a temptation. Armen can’t resist the lure of Ravi’s body, shackled and at his mercy.
For his part, Ravi Jai is shocked to discover his lost love has become a torturer. Now with secrets of his own, Ravi needs to escape before he’s discovered and he’s pretty sure his old flame Armen can help him. He just needs to be convinced the right way.
76 pages I Published by Loose Id June 24th, 2008.
TWO TANGLED TALES : Originally included in the Tangle anthology (Blind Eye Books, 2008), Two Tangled Tales comprises “Lord Ronan’s Shoes” and “Remember” which slices of fun are sure to please fans of Ms. Amara’s romantic work.
Lord Ronan’s Shoes
Evander soon learned that his new master was a hard man, greatly feared by all who worked for him. The first piece of advice Evander received was from Lord Ronan’s butler and Master of Servants, Mr. Manfrey, who advised Evander never to make eye contact with the lord, as it would inevitably lead to a thrashing.
But unlike the other servants, Evander found it difficult to keep his eyes off Lord Ronan.
As I shaved, I noted a bite mark on my neck. I attempted to recall the moment, but the evening was already fading from my mind. The memories of my affairs, plagued by guilt, always seemed anxious to dispel themselves. It was a great pity, this failing memory of mine. I wanted to fall back on these dangerous affairs to last me through the long years of my impending marriage. And yet here I was, less that twelve hours past my latest sin, and I could hardly recall the gentleman’s face, let alone his intimate affections.
Published by Blind Eye Books October 26th, 2010.
SWEET and SOUR : Miles Piekus thought he and Itai would make a great team, despite the infidelities haunting their past. After all, Itai is smoking hot, they’re both driven entrepreneurs, and they love each other. What else did a person need?
Well, a lot more, apparently, because not only are they no longer passionate, they don’t even share the same passions. Like people, affections change, and Miles wonders if a relationship this broken is truly worth repairing.
Itai’s business launch with his ex-boyfriend isn’t helping. And Miles himself has a new business to grow over a busy few weeks where Thanksgiving and Hanukkah collide to form either the best holiday season ever, or a kosher caterer’s worst nightmare.
But help comes in the unexpected, ruggedly handsome form of Detective Dominic Delbene, a pickle aficionado with his own ghosts, who stakes out the deli to capture a dangerous drug dealer. As Hanukkah’s eight days come to an end, Miles discovers that Nic is not only good with pickling; he’s good at everything.
152 pages I Published by Loose Id November 26th, 2013.
THE ARCHER’S HEART : In the ancient kingdom of Marhavad, noblemen dominate the lower castes, wielding mystic weapons, known as shartas, against any who oppose them. For generations the rule of Marhavad’s kings has been absolute. But now the line of succession is divided, and whispers of revolution are heard in even the royal palace.
Keshan Adaru, an outspoken man of unearthly charms, welcomes these changes. All his life he has foreseen an uprising that will shatter the castes and end the tyranny of the old laws. His visions have driven him but now, at the brink of their fulfillment, he finds himself obsessed with Prince Jandu Paran– a man whose entire family must be destroyed if the kingdom is to be freed.
Tarek Amia would gladly see Jandu Paran brought low. Born the son of a charioteer, Tarek has no love for the royal princes who have slighted and insulted him all his life. Only Keshan’s philosophies have elevated him from the brutal ranks of common soldiers. Tarek owes Keshan his devotion, but he is a pragmatic man and when he discovers Keshan’s reckless affair he realizes that Keshan may have to be sacrificed for the sake of his own revolution.
Young Prince Jandu Paran has never concerned himself with court intrigue. His life has been dedicated to the lordly art of archery and mastering the immense powers of the shartas. Handsome and arrogant, he is sure that no man can surpass him and yet Keshan Adaru’s mere touch brings Jandu to his knees. But his desire for Keshan is more than forbidden; it threatens to destroy Jandu’s pride, position and family. In the midst of this turmoil, an unspeakable event forces Jandu to redefine the meaning of honor and loyalty.
And now, as armies arise to war, each man must decide where his allegiance lies and what he will sacrifice in his heart and on the battlefield.
656 pages I Published by Blind Eye Books August 1st, 2008.
HALF PASS : He looks good on a horse, but it’s hard to love a man with a big ego and a small alibi.
Paul King’s inheritance is named Serenity Stables, but for him it’s far from serene. He has one plan for the crumbling facility: unload it as fast as possible. But two months on the market, and he’s still mucking stalls and dreaming of his old life back in San Francisco.
It doesn’t help that he seems to have misplaced a horse. Not just any horse—Tux, a million-dollar Warmblood who, despite lacking opposable thumbs, has an Olympic medal to its name. So does its Brazilian trainer, Estevan Souza, a man whose darkly sexual, smoldering glances almost make Paul forget his horse phobia.
Intriguing as Paul finds Estevan, distractions are piling up. The boarders are picky. The arena roof is leaking. His drunken cousin is wreaking havoc. Tux’s owners are threatening to sue. On top of that, a bucket of blood points to possible murder.
Suddenly, Estevan’s glances are looking more suspicious than sinful. And, if Paul can’t come up with a plan to save Tux, he could lose not only his chance with Estevan, but his life.
Warning: Includes beautiful horses, men in tight breeches, murderers, horse thieves, Olympic champions, cowboy hats, anal sex, broken dreams, and the conquering of traumatic childhood fears.
200 pages I Published by Samhain January 18th, 2011.
CAROL OF THE BELLSKIS (#1) : Paralegal Seth Bellski is tired of being the secret lover of his boss, Lars Varga, founding partner of Finch & Varga Law. So when he asks Lars to spend Hanukkah with Seth’s family at their kosher B and B in Whistler, B.C., and Lars refuses, Seth realizes he will never get his self-conscious boss out of the closet.
So Seth prepares to spend his Hanukkah holiday alone in the B and B. Instead he finds himself running the place, as his aunt and uncle are missing, and seven demanding, peculiar, and danger-prone guests have arrived. To make matters worse, Lars shows up, begging forgiveness. Lars’s touches remind Seth of why he put up with his boss’s behavior in the first place. If only the words that came out of that beautiful mouth were as sweet as his kisses.
But how can Seth find time to fix his broken relationship when the guests are demanding kosher, gluten-free diets, losing their pet terriers, and hitting their heads on the ice? Seth and Lars find themselves put through the paces of being a married couple, all while still broken up. But then again, if they can survive this Hanukah, maybe they’ll be singing a carol of the Bellskis.
100 pages I Published by Loose Id December 14th, 2009.
MIRACLE OF THE BELLSKIS (#2) : Too much family…too little Egg Nog.
It’s been three years since Seth Bellski forced his boyfriend and ex-boss Lars Varga out of the closet. Since then, Seth has passed the bar and become an attorney, and Lars has started his own firm. Their sex life has gotten steamier, and everything seems perfect between them. Until the holidays arrive.
It’s bad enough that Seth’s mother and father want them over every single night of Hanukkah. And that Lars’s less-than-tolerant parents are sleeping in the room next door for the duration of Christmas, putting the kibosh on their kink. They also end up attorneys representing opposing sides in a divorce case, one which quickly proves to be much more than it seems.
Amidst Hanukkah candles, Christmas lights, burned dinners and delayed court appointments, can Lars and Seth’s relationship survive the ultimate holiday challenge: too much family?
110 pages I Published by Loose Id December 13th, 2011.
IRREGULARS : “NATO’s Irregulars Affairs Division is a secret organization operating in thousands of cities around the globe. Its agents police relations between the earthly realm and those beyond this world, protecting us from terrible dangers as well as enthralling temptations. These agents-irregulars, as they are known to the few who know them at all-are drawn to the work for their own reasons and close cases in their own unique ways.”
Agent Henry Falk – an undead tramp brought back for a mission that might finally put him into a grave he can’t climb back out of.
Agent Keith Curry – a former carnivore chef turned vegetarian currently dealing with a goblin problem.
Agent Rake – a tough and ambitious guy with a penchant for easy living and dangerous games.
Agent Silas August – an uncompromising jerk with a dead partner and an assignment babysitting an assassin.
Four adventures from four award-winning authors, all set in one amazing world. Is your security clearance high enough to read on?
476 pages I Published by Blind Eye Books March 14th, 2012.
DEMOLISHED : Calvin Quarry thinks Felix Bracks is a fantastic lover. He fulfills all of Cal’s deepest fantasies, allowing him to fully embrace the wanton side of his sexuality. But Cal’s fantasy shatters when he realizes Felix was the driver in a fatal accident that killed Cal’s best friend back in high school.
Forgiving Felix his past digressions is hard, but when Cal’s young cousin Robby becomes entangled in a dark and dangerous affair, Cal realizes there’s more to both their stories than what meets the eye. As a journalism major, Cal has a duty to not only shed light on the sinister world young Robby has stumbled into, but also to uncover the truth about Felix’s accident so many years before.
But those they fight have power, and ways of making them and their families suffer. Cal and Felix have to be willing to sacrifice everything to stop these horrors from happening again. But this wasn’t what either signed up for. This was supposed to be a casual sex hookup anonymously scheduled online. Can they truly trust each other enough to bring the crimes of the past to light, or will their budding relationship be demolished in the process?
165 pages I Published by Loose Id July 16th, 2013.
THE DEVIL LANCER : Captain Elliott Parrish of Her Majesty’s 17th Lancers cavalry division finds most of his assignment in the Crimea insufferable.
Rampant cholera, missing supplies, and inept planning quickly mire the promise of a decisive summer victory for the British. Facing a harrowing winter campaign, Elliott must rally disheartened men through sickness, battle and starvation.
But when he is assigned the additional task of spying on a fellow officer, the inscrutable Cornet Ilyas Kovakin, he finds himself disconcerted and fascinated by both the work and the man.
The half-Russian officer reports to none in his division. Rumors of demonic power and black magic surround him, but the truth turns out to be worse than the suspicions.
For Ilyas, his return to the Crimea is marred by the terrible mistake that cursed him with a horrifying power nearly beyond his control. His grip on his humanity is slipping away daily. Torn between a master he cannot trust and the family he must not return to, his only hope for salvation lies hidden in the long-forgotten symbols of centuries-old relics. But their meanings remain a mystery until the cheerful Captain Parrish offers assistance.
Although Ilyas fears trusting the young captain, Elliott’s company is almost irresistible.
Surrounded by deprivation, cruelty and war, both men know the closer they are drawn together, the greater the stakes. But with the balance of European power on the line, retreat is not an option.
Astrid Amara lives in Bellingham, Washington. She’s a former Peace Corps Volunteer, an advocate for animal rights, and a bureaucrat by day. After work she can usually be found writing, riding horses, hiking, or else sleeping. Her novel The Archer’s Heart was a finalist for the 2008 Lambda Literary Award.
Keep up to date with all that is happening with Astrid and her books – news, extras, shorts, alternate covers – loads of interesting tidbits!!! Just follow this LINK to her gorgeous website.
You can contact her the following ways: