Sunday, October 19, 2014

Blog Tour, eARC Review, Exclusive Excerpt + #Giveaway: Mythica by L. J. LaBarthe

Bottom Drawer is proud to present Mythica by L. J. LaBarthe, 
an M/M paranormal novel set in South Australia.

L.J. LaBarthe is a French-Australian woman, who was born during the Witching Hour, just
after midnight. From this auspicious beginning, she went on to write a prize-winning short story about Humpty Dumpty wearing an Aussie hat complete with corks dangling from it when she was six years old. From there, she wrote for her high school yearbook, her university newspaper, and, from her early teens to her twenties, produced a fanzine about the local punk rock music scene. She loves music of all kinds and was once a classical pianist; she loves languages and speaks French and English and a teeny-tiny smattering of Mandarin Chinese, which she hopes to relearn properly very soon. She enjoys TV, film, travel, cooking, eating out, abandoned places, urbex, history, and researching.
L.J. loves to read complicated plots and hopes to do complex plot lines justice in her own writing. She writes paranormal, historical, urban fantasy, and contemporary Australian stories, usually m/m romance and featuring m/m erotica.
L.J. lives in the city of Adelaide, and is owned by her cat. She can be found on the Internet at the following places: Twitter: @brbsiberia, Blog | Facebook | Web

Release Date: September 20, 2014
Book Details: Novel
Genre: MM Contemporary Paranormal
Author: L. J.  LaBarthe

The e-book is available for sale for $5.99 via the BDP Digital Shop
and other online booksellers

Caiden Jones is part-selkie and lives an idyllic life by the sea in South Australia. He’s had his fair share of disappointments, like being kept out of the Navy due to his mythica status, but overall he’s got a pretty good life. Until he’s in the wrong place at the right time. Cai steps in to subdue an out-of-control minotaur and in the process suffers a serious injury to his ribs. As Cai struggles to breathe, a gorgeous suit-clad sy’lph with mesmerising blue eyes races to his rescue. When it’s learned that the minotaur was poisoned, the sy’lph, Gray, makes it his personal mission to keep Cai and his family safe. Cai has always harboured some resentment towards the sy’lph because of their easy acceptance into the community, so the attraction he feels for Gray takes him by surprise. But how can they find out what this might mean when the lives of Cai and his family are endangered by someone closer than they realise?

My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Science Fiction Lovers

This was a great read and it had just the right amount of everything I liked to make it entertaining and hard to put down.

This is science fiction and it is set in a world much like ours but this time Earth's history is changed when the alien Sy’lph came and asked for asylum. They were the handful of beings who had fled their world after it had been destroyed by an unidentified enemy force. The handful were onboard a  Leviathan-like bio-mechanical ship which held storage to their world's knowledge. With what advanced technology they had, these aliens were guaranteed asylum, protection and acceptance. However, their presence made for some grumbling from the native mythica and humans.

The mythica are people descended from the creatures of mythology: minotaurs, dragons, selkies, mermaids, etc. Although they were Earth-born, they were not as accepted for there were many who lacked control of their mythica halves and most often than not, got humans in danger. 

Cai is a selkie mythica on his mother side and he, with his sister, as well as the rest of mythica, annually had to appear and report at the Bridging Lives office. There they had to relate their lack of or change of status, and other changes. This is a duty that Cai and many mythica found painful for requirement of law or not, this set them apart from the rest of the humans. And the Sy’lph. When trouble unexpectedly came up, Cai took it upon himself to help subdue the rampaging mythica but got hurt in the process. To the rescue was the most gorgeous man he had ever seen. His name was Grey. 

And he was Sy’lph.

The Sy’lph were suit-clad beings who were long-lived. The suit kept their real forms from human eyes for it was not only too alien, it could also physically injure the eyes. Even if he were millenia old, Grey was still considered a young man by his people and seeing Cai brought to the surface feelings he had long thought forgotten and so extended his hand to help and in friendship. 

The arc of this story is not so unusual by science fiction standards and it does bring with it the usual ideals that a utopic world would most likely flourish under. Center to this plot is the hate against anything and anyone not fully human, a sentiment that is quite obnoxious really as the alien technology was enjoyed by all and the mythica were as much a part of this world as the rest were. However, idiocy cannot be cured by policies or knowledge so the drama rises not in the romance brewing between the two men but in the unsettling mumblings and terrorist acts of the militant groups. 

Cai and Grey find themselves in the middle of the brewing unrest. Grey as an ambassador of the Sy’lph found himself having to keep secrets from Cai and away to settle problems. Cai, on the other hand, has to deal with his injuries from his foolish heroic acts and longing for the waters of the sea. In the end, there is the much sought after happily ever but there is a huge hole left uncovered which positively screams for a second book. I do hope so for I feel that Cai's and Grey's story has only just begun and their roles were bigger than what appears here. 

Well written, romantic, full of action and some bit of drama, this is a science fiction that I would love to follow should it proceed and be bummed over should it stop here. 

I just want more!

Exclusive Excerpt

THE SUN WAS beginning to rise as Caiden ran down the sand and into the water. His daily, early morning swim was something that was purely self-indulgent—he did not have to swim each day to satisfy the half-selkie part of himself, but he loved to feel the caress of the ocean against his flesh and commune with the sea and life within her.

He continued to run until the water was too deep, and then he dived, swimming down towards the sandy bottom and darker depths, holding his breath as long as possible. Then he shot towards the surface like a bullet, erupting from the water in a great splash and sucking down lungfuls of air. He took another deep breath and dived down again. The undulating waves playfully tugging at him as he turned end over end, almost corkscrewing his way down into the aquamarine depths. The light of the rising sun dappled the surface of the sea above him and he darted between each beam of gold that dotted the turquoise, playing in the water and the light.

Dolphins swam up to join him, and he grabbed the dorsal fin of the nearest one, laughing when he surfaced and breathed in air again. The dolphin dragged him along through the water at a rapid rate, making him whoop with delight, a sound echoed by the raucous cries of the seagulls hovering overhead. Schools of fish swam below him, sometimes their silvery bodies brushed against his toes, and Caiden loved that too, the feeling of being so free, so connected to all the elements—water, air, light, earth. The dolphin that pulled him along through the water brought him close to shore, and Caiden felt the soggy roughness of sand beneath his feet. He let go of the dorsal fin, calling a thank you and goodbye to the dolphins as they swam on.

The sun was higher now, and Caiden sighed as he felt the euphoria and rush of freedom slowly drain away as the reality of his life came crashing down around him. He couldn’t stay here in the sea; he couldn’t spend the rest of the day lingering on the beach. He waded slowly out of the sea and towards the sand, stopping only to pick up the towel he had discarded on his run down to the water. He dried himself off as he walked, trudging glumly towards the road and landward, away from the siren song of the ocean, away from the peace, serenity, and completeness he felt there. He had things to do, places to be, and situations to deal with. And so, as he crossed the road and entered the yard of the house in which he lived, his early morning joy had completely evaporated, replaced with a stoic determination to do what he had to as quickly as possible. Get it done, he told himself, the quicker, the better.


Caiden was seated in the waiting area of the local Bridging Lives office, the government department that existed to help mythica, as well as help the unemployed find work, the disabled and aged to find care, and the homeless find accommodation. He stood up from the uncomfortable chair upholstered in faded blue and grey wool that was pilling and had seen better days. He hunched into himself as he walked towards the smartly dressed young woman who had called his name, and offered her a half-smile. “That’s me,” he said.

She smiled at him, almost blinding him with her toothpaste-commercial-bright teeth. “Come this way, Mr. Jones.”

He followed obediently, shuffling along and refusing to look at the others like him, seated at desks, facing other smartly dressed people. The young woman in front of him bustled into a cubicle and gestured for him to take a seat. It was much like the one he had vacated in the waiting area of the office. As she moved around the desk to sit at it, she faced both him and a computer.

“Now, Mr. Jones,” she said, barely waiting for him to sit down, “this is just routine, as you understand. As a mythica, you’re required by law to report once every twelve months to us here in the Bridging Lives office. Unless there’s a change in your circumstances, in which case, you are required to report to us no later than fourteen days after the event.”

Mythica were the descendants of all mythological creatures of antiquity—the pixies, fairies, selkies, minotaurs, dragons, and more—who lived and worked alongside humans. Caiden knew this dance. He’d been doing it every year since his eighteenth birthday; before that, he’d been in the company of his aunt and sister, too young to really understand what it was that they were doing in the large, open plan office where everything stank of depression.  He shifted in his seat and nodded once, his hands balling into fists as he tucked them into the pockets of his lightweight jacket.

“I know the rules, Miss . . .”

“Schroeder. Sorry, I should have introduced myself.” She smiled a smile that she probably thought was warm and friendly, but that he found to have all the sensitivity of a hungry shark. Thankfully, not all the people here were like that. He knew many were sympathetic, compassionate, and kind from previous visits. “Now then, just for our records, please state into the recorder your personal details and verify your understanding of the proceedings.” She indicated a small digital voice recorder on the edge of the desk, facing him.

 Release Giveaway

Paperback copy of Mythica
$10 BDP Voucher
3 x Mythica e-books

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