Friday, March 10, 2017

Release Day Review ~ Unspeakable Words by Sarah Madison (Guest Post)

Release Day Review ~ Unspeakable Words by Sarah Madison (Guest Post)

Title: Unspeakable Words
Series: The Sixth Sense: Book One

Author: Sarah Madison
Release Date: March 10, 2017
Category: Paranormal: Other, Mystery/Suspense
Pages: 200

Blurb: 2nd Edition

The Sixth Sense: Book One

Special Agent John Flynn is everything Jerry Parker is not: dangerously handsome, coolly charismatic, and respected by his peers. Special Agent Parker is dedicated and meticulous, but his abrasive personality has given him a reputation for being difficult. When new information on a cold case appears, Parker is assigned to work with Flynn, and the sparks fly as their investigative styles clash. Contact with a strange artifact changes everything when it bestows unusual and unpredictable powers on Flynn… and the two men must learn to trust each other before a killer strikes again.

First Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, 2010.

Cover Artist: L.C. Chase



Jerry abandoned his conversation with Flynn to look for the owner of the voice from his past. His heart squeezed painfully to a halt at the sight of Derek standing on the sidewalk behind him, only to restart at double-time.

Jesus. Talk about running into your ex.

Derek wore a brown blazer over a tan turtleneck, with a brightly colored scarf carelessly thrown around his neck. Jerry had a momentary spurt of irritation for the affectation and then felt his heart sink. There was no way he could avoid speaking to Derek without looking churlish, and he didn’t want to give him that satisfaction.

“What are you doing down here?” Derek’s voice was inappropriately coy as he raised an eyebrow in Flynn’s direction and gave him the once-over. “Aren’t you going to introduce me to your friend?”

His sun-bleached hair was overly long and curling at the collar, and Jerry was secretly amused that it appeared to be getting thin on top. Derek had creases at the corners of his eyes as well. Too much time in the tanning booth, no doubt.

He must be having a cow over that.

It must be harder now for Derek to catch the attention of some sweet young ass, unless the young thing was desperate for a sugar daddy.

“Derek Collins,” Jerry said smoothly, “my partner, John Flynn. We’re here on business, Derek.”

This is the guy that I thought I loved once. Boy, was I an idiot.

“Partner?” Derek glanced swiftly at Jerry’s left hand and then gave a little laugh. “Oh, partner,” he repeated without explanation, shooting a sly smirk at Flynn
Jerry felt Flynn go rigid with tension, like a dog with his hackles up.

Relax. Gayness isn’t catching.

Flynn shot him a wounded look, and Jerry felt ashamed when he realized Flynn wasn’t embarrassed by Derek’s innuendos, he was pissed off on Jerry’s behalf. That was just…. Wow. Warmth suddenly flooded him, and he was both embarrassed and comforted at the same time.

Inexplicably, Flynn’s face relaxed, and a lazy smile appeared. “Yes, partner.” He practically purred as he placed a hand on Jerry’s arm. “Come on, Jer. We don’t want to be late for that interview.”
He guided Jerry away with a decidedly possessive hand on the small of his back.

“What was that about?” Jerry hissed as they left Derek openmouthed behind them.

“That asshole,” Flynn growled. “I can’t believe he cheated on you with a twinkie.”

Jerry stumbled and then laughed. When he quickly glanced over his shoulder, he saw Derek staring at the two of them speculatively. He laughed even harder and clapped Flynn on the back.

“It’s ‘twink’ if you really want to be cool,” Jerry corrected him.

“Asshole.” Flynn repeated the epithet for good measure, sounding pissed off again. “I wanted to punch him, but then I realized what would jerk his chain.” He appeared insufferably pleased with himself.

“You’re an idiot,” Jerry said with amusement. “A nice one, but an idiot all the same.” It’ll be all over town by this evening that I have a hot boyfriend. He fixed a sharp look on Flynn to check his reaction, but Flynn merely whistled innocently. “Come on,” Jerry sighed, not knowing what to make of the gesture. “We’ve got work to do.”

As part of this book tour, Bayou Book Junkie asked me to write about what inspired me to write a book in this genre. I’ve written extensively in the past as to why I write M/M romance, so I decided to focus this blog post on why I write paranormal romance.

I love ‘what if’ questions. What if a vampire wanted to live a normal life? What if a gargoyle wanted to be human? What if gaining special powers didn’t make your life fantastic but utterly ruined it instead? Does reincarnation exist, and if so, are we doomed to repeat our past mistakes?

To me, this is the meat and drink of storytelling. Despite being a pragmatic, no-nonsense person in my day job, I have a closet weakness for romance. I want to see lovers overcome odds to end up together. I want my protagonists to battle circumstances and self-doubt to wind up in a happily-ever-after ending. I might wear sensible shoes to work, but in my daydreams, I’m sporting Cinderella’s glass slippers. I might decry overt sentimentalism in my daily life, but I long to have a romantic proposal under circumstances that hold meaning for me. I wear Victoria’s Secret lingerie under work coveralls. My fingernails are painted with only clear nail polish and kept short but I splurge on fantastic colors with my toenails. There is a hidden element of ‘naughty’ that runs through every aspect of my daily life.

I realize contemporary romance outsells every other subgenre. I’m proud of the contemporary stories I’ve written. But by far and large, I need that little ‘twist’ that makes a story different, that takes it out of the ordinary. That’s what truly makes writing fun. Paranormal romance does that for me. I have the focus on the couple, which I love, but I also get the ‘what if’ questions and the world-building that results out of it.

The Sixth Sense series has a largely contemporary setting. What takes it beyond the usual ‘hot FBI guys attracted to each other while fighting crime’ is the fact that John Flynn is seriously knocked off his axis when he gains an extraordinary ability as a result of a chance encounter with a strange artifact in a museum. The crux of the story—and the relationship—is that Flynn must accept his need for Jerry’s help to get through this enormous change in his life. I had a lot of fun with this as I imagined what it would be like to suddenly develop a superpower and what the day-to-day consequences of that would be.

And having fun is important to me as a writer. Sure, I might be more popular if I churned out more formulaic stories that fell into the category with the highest demand by readers, but bottom line, the straightforward contemporary doesn’t grab me to the same degree as the ‘story with a twist’. A certain amount of conflict is necessary for good storytelling. Paranormal romances seem to give me greater scope for introducing that conflict without having it be a simple misunderstanding or a seemingly endless back-and-forth dance between the protagonists, when in reality, there is very little reason they can’t be together.

What I love most about the Sixth Sense series is how complex the characters are, and how their relationship evolves over the course of the series. The revised and expanded version of Unspeakable Words (Book One in the Sixth Sense Series) is available for pre-order now, and will be re-released on March 10th, 2017.

I’m currently working on the fourth and final installment in the series, tentatively titled Deal with the Devil. Current release date sometime in 2018. I hope you’ll join me in celebrating the relaunch of the series, or coming to the party for the first time. I think you’ll enjoy it.

3.5 Stars! 

Slow. This story might be entertaining but it's also very very slow. The story itself moves at a slower pace and the romance does as well. I have to say I was extremely disappointed with the lack of romance until basically the end of the story. I was so anxious to see these men get together, especially with all the sexual tension I imagined building along the way. However, I almost felt like giving up waiting for them to finally do something.

When the men finally do get together it was great. I'm not sure if I'd say it was worth the wait since I wanted more but still it was done well. I'm a fan of these two men together for sure. Their banter throughout the book was great and the way it seemed they tried to dislike each other but just couldn't had me chuckling. Perfect chemistry, in my opinion.

The paranormal element was interesting although kind of seemed out of place with the story in a way. It was almost like two separate stories mashed together. The case they were working on seemed like it was super interesting and I actually wanted more focus on it. I loved the idea behind it, it was different yet not completely out of the realm of possibility for a serial killer case.

Overall, I'm not sure this is one I'd run out to recommend to my friends but I wouldn't tell people not to read it either. I see potential here for the series and hopefully the next book has more Jerry and Flynn together as a couple. I guess we will see.

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*


Sarah Madison is a writer with a little dog, a big dog, an even bigger horse, too many cats, and a very patient boyfriend. An amateur photographer and a former competitor in the horse sport known as eventing, when she's not out hiking with the dogs or down at the stables, she's at the laptop working on her next story. When she’s in the middle of a chapter, she relies on the smoke detector to tell her dinner is ready. She writes because it’s cheaper than therapy.

Sarah Madison was a finalist in the 2013, 2015, and 2016 Rainbow Awards. The Boys of Summer won Best M/M Romance in the 2013 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Awards. The Sixth Sense series was voted 2nd place in the 2014 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Awards for Best M/M Mystery series, and 3rd place in the 2105 PGR Reviewer’s Choice Awards for Best M/M Paranormal/Urban Fantasy series. Fool’s Gold was voted best M/M romance in the 2016 PRG Awards.

If you want to make her day, e-mail her and tell you how much you like her stories.

No comments:

Post a Comment