A MelanieM Review: Dragon Deception (Supernatural Consultant #2) by Mell Eight

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Dragon DeceptionA life full of children and mysteries to solve doesn’t leave much time for relaxation or each other, something Lumie wants to help fix for Dane and Mercury by way of arranging a picnic. But good intentions and life rarely cooperate, and Dane knows it’s only a matter of time before all hell breaks loose.

Hell turns out to be someone using Quicksilver’s name to destroy buildings, but there’s no way to tell whether the enemy is an impostor or a trap—and only way to find out. Hopefully it won’t mean missing the picnic.

Dragon Deception is the 2nd in the Supernatural Consultant series but it flows so smoothly from Dragon Consultant‘s events and timeline that it hard to realize that it takes place five years later.  Mercury and the dragon kits are now at home with Dane, making them quite the family.   Mercury has a new job as an agent with the SupFeds, also known as the Federal Bureau of Supernatural Investigations,and a new abrasive partner whose on everyone’s bad list.  Their first case?  A new investigation of arson with someone using the name of Quicksilver, a name with huge ramifications for Mercury, the kids and Dane.

Meanwhile, brilliant kit Lumie wants his “dads” to go on a special picnic for some alone time, something Lumie thinks they need and never gets with their jobs and kits always under foot.  I loved the interplay between growing dragon children and the way that their needs are being met by Dane and Mercury under one roof.  Mell Eight creates a wonderfully traditional dragon culture and then devises creative methods in which Dane actively works to meet those need in a modern world.  Her own version of setting them up and knocking them down and it working perfectly.  The family interactions and relationships are so strong and remain among my favorite parts of this story.

But there’s still that heinous organization to be tracked down that’s still kidnapping young dragons and they continue to play a huge part here.  I’ll say no more, but these mysterious scientists and the conspiracy around them is a thread that runs from book to book, that with each revelation sees deeper, more serious consequences for Mercury, the dragons kits and in fact all dragon kind if not stopped.  Its this element that makes me wish the books were longer.  There just isn’t enough room to explore all the events that happen so quickly here to the full extent I would like to see happen.

Mell Eight packs her stories full of excitement, imaginative elements, gripping storylines and characters you need  to know more about.  This is especially true of the dragon kits that have come about due to the nefarious government experiments like Lumie and Alloy, just a few to make mention of.  As they grow, so do their strange powers, and there are dragons we have just to meet.

When the book ends, I think some readers unused to Mell Eight’s stories will be perplexed as to the lack of any traditional ending.  Its one of the reasons I think this series would work more as a serial than as a series.  A mission comes to an end but not everything is wrapped up.  Pretty much status quo for this author.  Those of us familiar with her style know to just sit back and wait for the next one to arrive.  If you find this frustrating, you might want to wait until the series is done and then binge read through. But if this doesn’t bother you, than powered by a love of dragons, mystery, and terrific characters, grab up this series and get started right away. So far its only two short books, it’ll be a breeze to catch up before the third arrives.

I can’t wait.

Cover art by Aisha Akeju.  I love the artist but her covers for this series are still something of a disconnect.  They are too bright and happy for some of the very serious themes encountered inside the books, including dragon kit experimentation, kidnapping, and more.  Its cute with the dragon prints and its a part of the plot, still…

Sales Links:  Less Than Three Press | ARe | Amazon will be coming

Book Details:

ebook, 111 pages
Expected publication: February 10th 2016 by Less Than Three Press
ISBN139781620047125
Edition LanguageEnglish

Series Supernatural Consultant :

An Ali Review: The Boys of Summer by Sarah Madison

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
The Boys of SummerWorking for a California-based film production company, David McIntyre is the go-to man for matching the right location to the right project for the right price. On an extended trip to Hawaii, he hires Sutton’s Air Service to cart him all around to some of the most exotic locations in the South Pacific. During one of those trips, a freak tropical storm forces them to make a crash landing, leaving both men stranded without a radio and with very little in the way of food and water. Rick Sutton’s injuries make it imperative that they be rescued soon, and David finds himself calling on all his professional skills to keep both of them alive.

It takes a vivid dream about WW2 however, to make David realize that he has real feelings for Rick—more than just his natural concern that both of them get out of this mess alive. But putting his heart on the line might be the greatest risk David has ever taken—does he have the courage to make it before time runs out on both of them? 
 
This was an interesting book.  There are two stories going on in this book.  The first and primary story is of David and Rick and their plane crash.  The two men are stranded on an island and we watch as they get to know each other as they’re trying to stay alive.  This was pretty good as far as the story but I didn’t feel a lot of chemistry between the two men.  While they’re on the island David has a dream that stars him and Rick in the past, in WWII.  
I liked this part of the story probably better than the main story.  It was emotional and very bittersweet.  My problem with the whole thing is they’re never really tied together.  I thought this was going to be either a reincarnation story or a plot device that makes the two men have some great epiphany about each other and their relationship.  It did neither.  It was just there and then we go back to the main story.  There is never some great romance, some great love between the two and even the ending is a happily for now.  It was disappointing to me because it had such potential.  It’s definitely not a bad read but I wasn’t wow’d either.  
 
Cover by Reese Dante. I love the cover.  I think it’s beautiful and captures the story really well.
Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press | ARe | Amazon
Book Details:
ebook, 200 pages
Published December 21st 2015 by Dreamspinner Press (first published April 14th 2013)
ISBN 163476630X (ISBN13: 9781634766302)
setting Hawaii (United States)

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Dom on the Side (Blowing It #3) by Kate Aaron

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Handsome man holding a briefcase in a vintage interior

Handsome man holding a briefcase in a vintage interior

“I’d love to Dom you one day. You’d be a natural.”

When a one-night stand makes Ryan Jessop a casual offer to introduce him to BDSM, he’s torn between denial of his submissive fantasies and their irresistible pull. Taking a chance, he discovers in Jim a skilled Dominant, and under his guidance, Ryan’s submission blossoms. Unfortunately, guidance is all Jim can offer. The one thing Ryan wants most—a loving Dom to whom he exclusively belongs—is off the table.

Sameer Farouk is the right guy at the wrong time, and as far as Ryan can tell, not kinky. No matter how clearly Ryan can foresee a future with Sameer, he refuses to settle for less than total compatibility, both in and out of the bedroom. Despite their obvious connection, breaking up is the right thing to do, even if it breaks Ryan’s heart.

Torn between them, Ryan must decide if he’s prepared to gamble everything on one man, or if he’d be better off with a vanilla boyfriend and a Dom on the side.

*Dom on the Side is the third book in the Blowing It universe, but can be read as a standalone.

I have mixed feelings about this story that I’ll mention below, but two important facts readers should know about this story up front—this is a prequel to the other two books in the series and takes place about five years before the start of Blowing It. And the second fact—Sameer, the second MC, isn’t introduced until the latter part of the story (at 75%) so it’s difficult to label this a romance.

The words that started Ryan on the road to BDSM were fairly simple and casually spoken after a one-night stand with a guy named Jim: I’d love to Dom you one day. You’d be a natural.” He’d always known he was a little kinky, preferring stronger, more dominant men in bed, and he’d visited a club once with his best friend, Owen, but he’d never seriously considered it until those words ate at his subconscious, and he finally gave in and called Jim to talk about it.

Jim introduces him to the world of BDSM and all its various facets, but he makes it very clear from the start that he’s only looking to play with Ryan—he’ll never get serious since he’s already got a life partner. That shocks Ryan and later causes him to add penetrative sex to his list of things he won’t do with Jim, but he gains more understanding of the open relationship Jim and his partner, Gaz, pursue once he meets Gaz at a local BDSM club. That was an experience, not only for Ryan but for readers as well. No spoilers! However, Gaz’s preferences in the scene were totally different from most this reviewer had previously read, but it was the first time it was positively presented, and I felt drawn to learn more about that kink. As a side note—it would be great to see a sequel featuring Gaz and his partner-in-play, Liam.

The author takes us on Ryan’s journey into the world of BDSM play—from his first visit to a club through his weekly sessions with Jim as they explore various forms of play, including use of restraints, paddles, floggers, sounding wands, and more. In fact, most of the story centers around Ryan’s relationship with Jim. Though he wishes desperately to find a man with whom he can experience both worlds, he despairs of ever having that happiness. When he meets Sameer, at first it’s just a one-night stand, and then weeks later he sees him again, and the two begin to seriously date.

But Ryan always shields his heart because he’s desperately afraid he’ll fall in love, and he just knows Sameer will turn away from him if he reveals his kinky side. This leads to an emotional tug-of-war throughout the last fourth of the book.

This story can be read as a standalone since it comes way before the first book in the series. If anything, readers may be prompted to continue Owen’s story with the first two books after they read this. I enjoyed it and the author did an outstanding job in explaining the world of BDSM and many of the aspects of the lifestyle and of the equipment used, however, it fell flat as a romance. Between the fact that Sameer wasn’t introduced until the end of the book, and Ryan’s efforts to remain emotionally uninvolved with him, it really didn’t feel like a romance at all. His relationship with Jim, however, was interesting, emotional, and clearly illustrated many of the aspects of a good Dom-sub relationship. If you are well-versed in BDSM, you may find this story too much of a primer. If you are new to the theme, this book provides a very good foundation, and I would recommend it with the caveat that you won’t be getting a lot of romance. Hot sex? Yes! Romance? No.

~~~~~~~~~

Cover design by Elizabeth Mackey Graphics features a man’s two arms tightly gripping white fabric and linked by a pair of bright blue leather handcuffs, clearly illustrating the MC in this story.

Sales links:  ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 285 pages
Published January 25th 2016 by Croft House (first published January 24th 2016)
Original Title Dom on the Side
Edition Language English

Get An Inside Look At ‘Until September’ by Chris Scully (author guest blog and giveaway)

UntilSeptember_600x900

Until September by Chris Scully
Riptide Publishing
Cover Artist Lou Harper

Release Date February 8, 2016
Goodreads Link

Buy it/Read An Excerpt Here

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Chris Scully, author of Until September, here today to share some insight about her  latest novel Until September.  Welcome, Chris.

*******

Hello! I’m Chris Scully. I’m thrilled to welcome you to my Until September blog tour! Join me at various tour stops, where I’ll be sharing some of the background of this novel, my thoughts on writing, and more. Comment on each stop to be entered in a drawing for a $20 Riptide gift certificate. Thanks for joining me on the tour!

About Until September

As a teenager, Archie Noblesse clawed his way out of the poverty, heartache, and abuse of the reservation and left his family behind. Desperate to shake the shadow of his past, he reinvents himself as Archer Noble, an outspoken blogger and controversial author who lives only for himself. But when his beloved sister dies, Archer is saddled with guardianship of his niece and nephew.

Elementary school teacher Ryan Eriksson is devastated when his best friend Marguerite is killed, leaving her two young children orphaned. Helping Archer with his new responsibilities eases his grief, but when Archer offers him custody of the children, Ryan’s left with an impossible choice: get the family he’s always wanted, or respect Margie’s wishes and convince Archer to give parenting—and his heritage—a chance.

To buy time, Ryan promises to stay for the summer, hoping that Archer will change his mind and fall for the kids. But Archer’s reluctant, and the growing attraction between him and Ryan complicates matters. Legal decisions must be made, and soon, before Ryan returns to school. But with hearts involved, more than just the children’s future is on the line.

About Chris Scully

CHRIS SCULLY lives in Toronto, Canada. She grew up spinning romantic stories in her head and always dreamed of one day being a writer even though life had other plans. Her characters have accompanied her through career turns as a librarian and an IT professional, until finally, to escape the tedium of a corporate day job, she took a chance and began putting her daydreams down on paper.

Tired of the same old boy-meets-girl stories, she found a home in M/M romance and strives to give her characters the happy endings they deserve. She divides her time between a mundane 9-5 cubicle job and a much more interesting fantasy life. When she’s not working or writing (which isn’t often these days) she loves puttering in the garden and traveling. She is an avid reader and tries to bring pieces of other genres and styles to her stories. While her head is crammed full of all the things she’d like to try writing, her focus is always on the characters first. She describes her characters as authentic, ordinary people—the kind of guy you might meet on the street, or the one who might be your best friend.

Although keeping up with social media is still a struggle given her schedule, she does love to hear from readers.

Connect with Chris:

Website: chrisscullyblog.wordpress.com
Facebook: facebook.com/chris.scully.author
Goodreads: goodreads.com/author/show/6152322.Chris_Scully
Email: cscully@bell.net

UntilSeptember_TourBanner

Giveaway

Leave a comment for a chance to win $20 in Riptide credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on February 13, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Love Shifters? Its Time to Reveal the Cover for Patience (Forbes Mates #2) by Grace R. Duncan (excerpt)


PatienceFSPatience

Forbes Mates, Book 2
Dreamspinner Press
Cover by Reese Dante
Release date: 3/7/2016
230 pages
Preorder:
ebook: http://bit.ly/1mgLZwP
paperback: http://bit.ly/1UODapT

 

Blurb:

Jamie Ryan was almost ready to accept he’d never find his destined mate. They’re uncommon to begin with and same-sex versions downright rare. Since his gay best friend found a destined mate, Jamie figured he was out of luck. Until end of semester stress forces him to go through the full-moon shift early. Stuck in wolf form, he runs into none other than his destined mate. Who’s human.

Chad Sutton has always had good instincts. They served him well as a detective and continued on when he went private. Those instincts tell him there’s something about the dog that comes up to him while running away from animal control that isn’t quite right. He works to put the pieces together, but is unsuccessful until his dog turns into a human before his eyes.

Jamie has no idea what a shifter mate bite will do to a human. He’s terrified to try—and possibly kill his mate. They hunt together for answers while working together on a case for Chad. It’s easy to see they belong together, but Jamie fears the gods gave him someone he can’t keep.

 

Excerpt:

 

Jamie threw back another shot and set the glass on the bar. It was days like this that made him wish to hell his metabolism wasn’t so damned fast. Thanks to his wolf, there wasn’t much he could do. His body processed alcohol almost as fast as he could drink it.

It didn’t help that he’d been feeling out of sorts the whole day. After his last final, he’d loaded the rest of his things from his dorm room into his car. All through it, he’d felt just… off. He couldn’t wait until he got back out to pack lands and Tanner and Finley’s house. They both insisted he take one of the spare rooms when he wasn’t on campus.

He hadn’t wanted to at first. He wasn’t sure he wanted to sit around and watch Tanner and Finley be loving and physical. It wasn’t so much that he still had feelings for Finley. He didn’t, thank the gods. It was more of a different sort of jealousy. Now that he’d seen what it was to have a mate, he wanted one of his own—badly.

Tanner and Finley had tried to set him up with their friend the pack doctor, Miles. While Jamie could admit Miles was most definitely hot, with his long red hair and lean physique, Miles wasn’t his destined mate. And they got along well enough, but he didn’t even feel the interest with Miles he had with Finley. Luckily for both of them, Miles felt the same. They’d been able to occasionally fuck and be good friends, but that’s as far as it had gone.

Thankfully, Tanner and Finley weren’t as bad as he’d expected. They kept most of their physical stuff to their bedroom, with the occasional touch and kiss in front of him. So going back there for holidays and breaks wasn’t as bad as he’d been afraid it would be.

And now he wanted nothing more than to get on the road and make the hour-and-a-half-in-traffic trip back. His wolf had been prodding him for a while, and he needed to shift and run, let him loose.

Jamie tried to think of the last time he’d shifted outside of the full moon. When he realized he wasn’t sure, it made sense that he was so antsy. He was rather surprised he hadn’t started chasing the mailman down the street or chewing on his roommate’s slippers. Their kind had an unfortunate tendency to display horribly doglike behaviors—in human form—when they didn’t shift often enough. The worst of the side effects included full-blown attention deficit issues. Considering he was at the tail end of his junior year in college and squeaking through finals, Jamie counted himself lucky he’d managed to keep from any of that.

The prodding was undoubtedly the reason he was feeling out of sorts. His wolf prowled just under the surface, and he wondered if he shouldn’t just tell his friends good-bye and head home.

Come on, man! You’re being a lightweight tonight,” his roommate, Dwayne, said, shoving another shot at him. “You usually drink all of us under the table.”

I gotta drive home, dude,” Jamie said. He wasn’t about to explain that it didn’t matter how many shots he had, he could sober up in no time and still drive.

You can crash on my couch,” Troy offered.

Jamie turned to his other friend and shook his head. “Naw, it’s okay. I guess I can do a couple more.” He picked up another glass and lifted it to his lips, then stopped when he realized the fine hairs on the back of his hand weren’t quite so fine. He blinked, confused, since his vision was still normal.

Right then, the colors faded to grays. Jamie downed the shot quickly and closed his eyes, pretending to struggle to swallow the liquor, trying to fight his wolf back into its place.

Not yet. Just a little longer.

When he opened his eyes, the color was back, but his wolf was even closer to the surface. He glanced at his watch—a digital with the moon phases on it, just in case—but the full moon was still more than two days away. The date didn’t seem to matter, though. Jamie was losing the fight against his wolf, and he needed to get out of there—fast.

Dude, you okay?” Troy asked, peering at him.

Dwayne was grinning from the other side. “I think he finally had one too many.”

Jamie jumped on the excuse. “Uh, yeah. Something with that last shot. Need some air. Sorry.” With that, he hurried out to the street and took a deep breath. Unfortunately, Forbes Avenue in the heart of Oakland—Pittsburgh’s college district—wasn’t the best place for fresh air. All he got for his trouble was two lungs full of exhaust and a burning nose. He knew better—he’d been fighting the stench of city for most of the last two years—and he cursed himself for doing it anyway.

Shaking his head at himself, he darted past the Dunkin’ Donuts and the door to The O, then around the corner, looking for a quick place to hide. His vision turned gray again, and he struggled to hold his wolf back at least until he could get hidden. He ducked into the alley just beyond the building and let out a breath.

Before he could think of how to handle this, his wolf broke through, and Jamie found himself forced through the shift. His gums itched as his teeth dropped, his claws extended, and fur erupted over his skin. His bones and muscles realigned, and seconds later, he landed on four paws.

He shook himself hard and gave himself just a moment to savor being in his fur again. But this was not the place for him to be in wolf form. He was too far away from Schenley Park, or any other park, for that matter. Never mind the fact that wolves didn’t wander around in city parks. They weren’t even truly native to this region, much less would they be found in a park completely surrounded by city.

He prodded his wolf, trying to nudge him back so he could take his human form again. However, his wolf refused to relinquish control. Jamie struggled, trying to internally reason with his wolf—if he could go back to human, he could get home to the forest and shift for a while. His wolf wouldn’t listen. He was getting truly worried now, when his human side couldn’t pull the lupine side back.

No matter what he did, he couldn’t seem to get control. Huffing, Jamie sat and considered his options, though there were very few. He could keep trying to shift, but he suspected that would be an exercise in futility. He could try to get to his car… except there was no way he could get the door open, even if he could get down the street and through the garage unseen.

He turned to his clothes and nosed through the pile of denim scraps that used to be his jeans. He managed to pull his phone out with his mouth, but the screen wouldn’t recognize the touch of his paw. Not that he knew what he’d do anyway. Call Finley, maybe. But that obviously wasn’t an option.

He looked toward the street but knew that was a bad idea, no matter how much he wanted to get away. Until he was human again, he didn’t dare risk venturing out of the alley. That left the other direction.

Jamie looked down at his clothes, then left them to explore the short distance to the back wall. He found milk crates, a huge trash compactor, the currently raised bottom of a fire escape, a couple of recycling bins, and not much else. A door that presumably led into the kitchen of The O sat in the wall to his right. At the end of the alley, it turned in an L-shape into a tiny parking lot Jamie hadn’t known was there.

It was dark enough no one should be able to see him, so he figured his best bet at this point was find a spot in the corner and wait. Hopefully, after some rest and time in his fur, his wolf would let go and he could get back into his human skin.

He nosed open one of the recycling bins first. It took a couple of trips, but he got his clothes, shoes, watch, phone, and wallet into the bin. Even if they ended up in a dump somewhere, he didn’t want them just lying out on the ground where someone could steal them. Once he was human again, he could fish them out, but until then at least they were out of sight.

He found a quiet spot under the fire escape and behind the door to settle in. With a sigh, he lay down and rested his head on his paws to wait.

* * *


If you haven’t read it yet, now would be a
great time to check out Devotion, Forbes Mates #1 and where you get to meet Jamie first. Find out more about Devotion and see how you can get Tanner and Finley’s story here: http://www.grace-duncan.com/devotion .

* * *

grace_nohateGrace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination.  She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble.  Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.

A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States.  She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.

As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics.  She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.

Find Grace here:

Website  ◊ FacebookTwitterYoutubeGoodreads

Its Super Bowl Sunday,Top 10 Greatest Ancient Athletes and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

ancient games

Its Super Bowl Sunday and the Top 10 Greatest Ancient Athletes

Its Super Bowl Sunday,  more than that, its Super Bowl 50 so all the celebrations, commercials have been kicked up a notch.  I have to admit, I love the commercials. The Budweiser Clydesdales always  slay me whether the commercials are in a funny vein or outright reaching for the heart.  Horses, dogs…check and done.  Helen Mirren on drunk drivers this  year?  Priceless as they say.  Other than the commercials, none of my teams made it so my heart’s not in it…exactly.  But millions of other peoples are. People are talking teams and favorite athletes. Who is faster, stronger, better and who will win.

And its always been this way.

Doesn’t matter if its hockey and the Ovetchkin or Sidney Crosby rivalry (Caps and Ovetchkin all the way) or the current Super Bowl teams and their quarterbacks, Carolina Panthers Cam Newton or the Denver Broncos Peyton Manning, their pros and cons, their physiques and ages, everything will be discussed ad infinitum.

But that’s nothing new.  From the ancient Olympic games to the the favorite gladiators of the Coliseum, athletes have been written about and fawned over.  Here is the top 10 list of ancient athletes (thank you, Theodoros II of Listverse (http://listverse.com/2013/04/14/10-greatest-ancient-athletes/).  Don’t they cry out for a book about them? :

Orsippus10. Orsippus of Megara was an ancient Greek athlete who won the stadium race of the fifteenth Ancient Olympic Games in 720 B.C. He became the crowd’s favorite, and he was thought to be a great pioneer for being most likely the first ever athlete to run naked. Pausanias, who very often reported on the ancient Olympics like a modern-day sports journalist, states: “My own opinion is that at Olympia he [Orsippus] intentionally let the girdle slip off him, realizing that a naked man can run more easily than one girt.”  It also got him many pots with that scene pictured-the Instagram of that day.

9.Varazdat
VarazdatVarazdat was an athlete from Armenia who won the Olympic boxing tournament during the 291st Olympic Games. We are aware of Varazdat’s victory from a memorandum kept in the Olympic museum in Olympia. The first historiography about Varazdat was written by Movses Chorenatsy in his Armenian History.In ancient Armenian royal and aristocratic families, the physical education of youngsters had a disciplined and orderly character. They were taught swimming, boxing, wrestling, weightlifting, and military exercises. Varazdat, with the benefit of this rigorous training, went on to be the winner of various boxing competitions held in Greece. He later achieved his greatest triumph, when he became the Olympic champion at the Olympics of 385.

8 Cynisca of Sparta
Although men were originally the only ones allowed to compete in the Olympic Games, this soon changed. Several women took partCynisca of Sparta 2 in the ancient Games, and even won competitions. The most famous of these was Cynisca of Sparta, the first woman to win at the Games. By her success, she paved the way for many other women, and helped usher in a new era in the ancient sporting world.Cynisca’s and her male team were successful in the four-horse chariot racing, winning in 396 B.C. and again in 392 B.C. Cynisca was the most distinguished female athlete of the ancient world, and many historians use her as a symbol of the social rise of women, and the beginning of the movement to give them equal rights and opportunities.

7 Polydamas
We don’t know much about the Olympic victor Polydamas of Skotoussa. His background, family life, and even the details of his Olympic triumph remain shrouded in mystery. Aside from the fact that Polydamas’ statue was remarkably tall and strong, we havePolydamus no other information on his appearance.Like many athletes of his time, Polydamas was just as well-known for his non-athletic exploits as he was for his prowess in the Olympic games. Ancient authors tend to compare his feats to those of the legendary Greek hero Herakles. Polydamas once killed a lion with his bare hands on Mount Olympus, in a quest to imitate the labors of Herakles, who famously slew the Nemean lion. For similar reasons, Polydamas once managed to single-handedly bring a fast-moving chariot to a halt.These exploits soon reached the ears of the Persians. Their king, Darius, sent for Polydamas. After he was received by the Persian king, the athlete challenged three Persian “Immortals” to fight him, and managed to defeat them all in a single fight.In the end, however, Polydamas’ strength could not prevent his demise. One summer, Polydamas and his friends were resting in a cave when the roof began to crumble down upon them. Believing that his immense strength could prevent the cave-in, Polydamas held his hands up to the roof, trying to support it as the rocks crashed down around him. His friends fled the cave and reached safety, but the great wrestler was killed.

6.Onomastos of Smyrna
Onomastos of Smyrna was the first ever Olympic victor in boxing, at the twenty-third Olympiad in 688 B.C., when this sport was Onomastos of Smymaadded. According to ancient historians, Onomastos was not only the first Olympic boxing champion, but wrote the rules of Ancient Greek boxing as well. Onomastos also holds a record which remains remarkable even today. After hundreds of ancient and modern Olympiads, he’s still the boxer with the most Olympic boxing titles, with four victories to his name. Laslzo Papp, the world’s greatest amateur boxer of the twentieth century, came close to Onomastos’ record—but he stopped at three Olympic victories before becoming a professional boxer.

5.Melankomas
The famously handsome boxer Melankomas was from Caria, a region in modern-day Turkey. In an effort to prove his courage, Melakomas of CariaMelankomas chose to compete in athletics, since this was the most honorable and most strenuous path open to him. Amazingly enough, Melankomas was undefeated throughout his career—yet he never once hit, or was hit by, an opponent.His boxing style involved defending himself from the blows of the other boxer, and never attempting to strike the other man. Invariably, the opponent would grow frustrated and lose his composure. This unique style won Melankomas much admiration for his strength and endurance. He could apparently last through the whole day—even at the height of summer—and he would refuse to strike his opponents, even though he knew that by doing so he would quickly end the match and secure an easy victory for himself. In this manner he won the Olympic boxing tournament at the 207th Olympic games.

4. Chionis of Sparta
Ancient-Sports-Stars Chionis of Sparta was an athlete who caused much debate regarding his athletic achievements, with the most notable of these being his long-jumping records. Records suggest that in the Olympics of 656 B.C., Chionis jumped a record of seven meters and five centimeters. This feat would have won him the long jump title at the 1896 Olympic Games, and would have placed him among the top eight at a further ten modern Olympics, up to and including the 1952 Games of Helsinki. As well as his amazing achievements in long jump, Chionis was also renowned as a triple jumper—capable of reaching up to 15.85 meters.But the most remarkable fact about this man is that none of his jumps were enhanced by modern-day drugs or training equipment; his records were truly honest and honorable.

3.Diagoras of Rhodes
Diagoras of Rhodes might not be the greatest of ancient athletes, but his family is without doubt the greatest sporting family of theDiagoras of Rhodes Ancient world. Diagoras won the boxing event in the Games of 464 B.C. He was also a four-time winner in the Isthmian Games, and a two-time winner in the games at Nemea. His sons and grandsons also became boxing and pankration champions. During the eighty-third Olympiad, his sons Damagetos and Akousilaos, after they became champions, lifted their father Diagoras on their shoulders to share their victory with him. Legend says that during Diagoras’ triumphant ovation on the shoulders of his sons, a spectator shouted: “Die, Diagoras, for Olympus you will not ascend”—the meaning being that he had reached the highest honor possible for a man and athlete.

2. Theagenes of Thasos
Theagenes was one of the first celebrities of the ancient sporting world. He became famous throughout the world at the tender age of nine. It seems that the boy was walking home from school one day when he noticed a bronze statue of a god in the marketplace oftheagenes22Thasos, Greece. For some reason, Theagenes tore the statue from its base and took it home. This act outraged the citizens, who perceived it as blasphemy against the gods, and they debated whether or not they should execute the child for his deed. One elder, however, wisely suggested that they should have the boy return the statue to its proper place. Theagenes did this—and his life would never be the same again.He went on to become one of the greatest athletes of all time. He was a successful boxer, pankratiast, and runner. He won the Olympic boxing tournament in the seventy-fifth Olympiad of 480 B.C., and in the next Olympics he won the title in the Pankration. In addition to his two Olympic victories, Theagenes won numerous honors in other sports and other games. Altogether he was said to have won over 1,400 contests in many different kinds of sport. His incredible achievements made him a living myth—to the extent that many people even believed that Heracles was his father.If we were to compare Theagenes with a modern boxing hero, such as Harry Greb (the boxer with most official victories (261) in professional boxing’s history) it would seem that Theagenes outnumbers him by nearly 1,250 victories.

1.Milo of Croton
Most historians agree that Milo remains to this day the greatest wrestler and fighter (from any combat sport) the world has ever known. Milo of Croton became an Olympic champion several times during his nearly thirty-year career. His size and physique wereMilo intimidating, and his strength and technique perfect—and many people accordingly believed that he was the son of Zeus. He was said to eat more than eight kilograms of meat every day. Some say that he even once carried an adult bull on his shoulders, all the way to the Olympic stadium, where he slaughtered and devoured it. Yet Milo was not merely a hulking wrestler; he was also a musician and a poet, as well as a student of the mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras.The greatest wrestler of the twentieth century, Alexander Karelin, was often called the modern-day Milo of Croton—but he himself acknowledged that he would not stand a good chance against the real Milo.

All of the ancient athletes above bring to mind the long line of warriors I’ve read about in stories I’ve loved and the sportsmen I’ve watched through the years and am still cheering on today.  Whether your sport is rugby, soccer, football, or  something totally different, think about the sports champions of the past as you cheer on the ones of the present.  Have a great Sunday and Happy Reading.

Now for

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, February 7:

  • Its Super Bowl Sunday,Top 10 Greatest Ancient Athletes and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, February 8:

  • Cover Reveal for Forbes Mates #2 book, Patience. by Grace R. Duncan
  • Until September by Chris Scully – Riptide Tour and Contest
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Dom on the Side by Kate Aaron
  • A MelanieM Review: Dragon Deception by Mell Eight
  • An Ali Review: The Boys of Summer by Sarah Madison

Tuesday. February 9:

  • In the Spotlight: Victoria Sue’s The Promise (excerpt and giveaway)
  • Dreamspinner Tour: Dormant Heart by Lane Swift (guest blog, excerpt)
  • An Ali Review: Whistle Blower by Dev Bentham
  • A Stella Review: Until September by Chris Scully
  • An Jeri Review: Tackling the Tight End by Tara Lain

Wednesday, February 10:

  • Patricia Logan ‘The Brat’ Tour and Giveaway
  • Dreamspinner Author Tour: Project Ordell by Susanna Hays (author guest blog)
  • A Jeri Review: The Imperfection of Swans by Brandan Witt
  • A Lila Review: Forced Impressions by Piper Doone
  • A PaulB Review: Golden Son by Jeff Erno

Thursday, February 11:

  • Dreamspinner Author Tour: Some Assembly by Lex Chase and Bru Baker (author guest blog)
  • A BJ Review: Dancer of Death by Jordan L. Hawk
  • An Ali Review: Second Hand (Tucker Springs #2) by Heidi Cullinan and Marie Sexton, Iggy Toma (Narrator)
  • A MelanieM Review: Strength of the Sun by SA McAuley
  • A Paul B Audiobook Review:  Lightning Struck Heart by TJ Klune (audio)

Friday, February 12:

  • Dreamspinner Author Tour: Foxes by Suki Fleet (guest post)
  • Dreamspinner Author Tour: Max MacGowan (Taking the Long Way)
  • LE Franks ‘Six Days to Valentine’ book blast and giveaway
  • A Ali Audiobook Review: Healing Hunter’s Heart by Charlie Cochet
  • A Stella Review:Naked Prince and Other Fairy Tales by Joe Cosentino

Saturday, February 13:

  • Dreamspinner Author Tour: Table for One by Ava Hayden (guest blog)
  • A Free Dreamer Review: Foxes by Suki Fleet

 

 

 

 

 

 

A MelanieM Review: The Case of the Purple Pearl (End Street Detective Agency #5) by Amber Kell and R.J. Scott

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

The Case of the Purple PearlAfter failing in a quest to win the Fae Queen’s approval, Halstein is locked in a world of stone. Forced to remain a gargoyle he spends his days on Sam’s desk pining for his lost love.

Prince Idris’s lover went missing and was presumed dead. Alone, Idris lives a life away from court, starved of energy but unwilling to sleep in the room he once shared with his beloved.

Can Sam and Bob save these fated lovers before it’s too late? And will Bob’s ultimate sacrifice be enough to free Hal from his prison?

The Case of the Purple Pearl  is the best of the End Street Detective Agency novels yet.  Interesting, with a case full of personal ramifications for everyone in Sam and Bob’s orbit, especially Sam and Bob themselves, this was at times funny,  quirky and heartbreaking.

Almost from the beginning, we found  out that the “gargoyle” that perched on Sam’s desk wasn’t exactly a gargoyle and that Sam was needed to explore exactly what and who that “thing” was.  But other cases always seemed to take priority,  children were kidnapped, nephews to Santa dropped out of the sky, busy, busy, busy.  But now, its time, no…past time to solve the mystery of the not so gargoyle and everyones lives are depending upon it.

I’m almost sorry that the blurb gave so much away because the revelation is amazing as are the heartbreaking turn of events that saw that gargoyle come to be.   To save the be-spelled lover, it will take blood, sacrifice and of course that purple pearl. RJ Scott and Amber Kell bring back so many of the beings from the past cases to help out/block the lovers from reuniting, that its a roll call of End Street Detective fascinating characters. Its also a case that plays into the heart of  relationships, trust, love, and what a soul mate is willing to do in the name of love.  In a shattering manner this pertains to more than one couple here.

Only the ending kept this book from a 5-star rating.  It was complicated, rushed, and left the reader without the needed narrative to explain the happenings taking place “off stage”.  There was also a bit of a cliffhanger for another character, one I’m hoping will be solved in the upcoming story.

Still, for much of this novel,  the drama, the characters, the mystery and the emotions will carry you away to a place where duplicitous Sirens calls, magnificent Dragons soar, scheming Elves are never quite what they seem and the End Street Detective Agency and its family is a group you never want to leave.

I highly recommend this story and this series if you are a lover of the supernatural, the paranormal, and lovers hoping to be reunited forever.

Cover artist  by Meredith Russell is terrific.  I love the tone and the models.

Sales Links:  ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 102 pages
Published November 20th 2015 by Love Lane Books Ltd
ASINB018BCB80O
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesEnd Street Detective Agency #5

End Street Detective Agency Series:

The first 4 stories are now coupled together in Volumes 1 and 2.

 

 

Love a Mystery with Your Romance? Check out ‘My Man Walter’ by J.S. Cook (guest post )

My Man Walter-build front

My Man Walter by J.S. Cook

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist Catt Ford
Goodreads Link
R
elease Day February 6, 2016

Purchase Link  Dreamspinner eBook

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have J.S. Scott here today to share a little bit about her latest novel, My Man Walter.  Welcome, J.S., to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.  Why a butler?

✥✥✥✥✥✥

An Inside Look At ‘My Man Walter’ by J.S. Cook

In 1981, the idea of becoming a butler was about as reasonable as deciding to set up housekeeping on the moon. Having a butler was no longer in fashion; more and more, the wealthy and titled of society were dispensing with personal servants in favor of contract firms. It became more practical to call Molly Maid when someone vomited a gallon of pinot gris onto your white Aubusson during a dinner party. Becoming a butler—that is to say, devoting your life to domestic service and cleaning up other people’s messes—was no longer seen as a viable occupation. The art of being a butler was on the verge of being lost.

That same year Ivor Spencer opened a school for “butler administrators and personal assistants” in London, offering proper training to those who aspired to the position of major-domo in some noble or wealthy household. This signaled a renaissance in household management and ushered in an era of respect for the butler’s profession. To be a butler meant one was a respected household manager, the overseer, the one who got things running and kept them that way. It took a great deal of skill and astonishing powers of organization, especially if the household was a large one, with many family members, and other household staff, for whom the butler would be responsible.

In my novel My Man Walter, New York Times reporter Walter Godfrey is in trouble with the mafia. He needs somewhere to hide until the nasty repercussions of his newspaper exposés blow over. Enter NYPD detective Brian Schrade. Like Walter, Schrade has been fighting the mafia’s various incursions into virgin territory with a growing sense of unease. Unlike Walter, Schrade doesn’t have a price on his head, but he does have Alec Pratt, police informant extraordinaire and, in a strange twist of circumstances, Walter’s personal bodyguard. Schrade decides to stash Walter away, where the mob can’t get at him: the palatial Long Island mansion of billionaire inventor Chase Gordon. Walter will pretend to be the new under-butler, taking over some of the duties from Chase’s caustic English butler, Juliet Lavish. Juliet doesn’t take to Walter right away. In fact, she thinks he’s little better than an annoyance, and she wants him gone. Walter can’t cook, doesn’t know one end of a vacuum cleaner from the other, and is all thumbs when it comes to handling delicate heirloom china.

Walter initially thinks he’ll put his time to good use by writing a series of newspaper articles about Chase, “a shallow, facile playboy who only cared where his next thrill was coming from.” Once he meets Chase, however, his opinion does a complete 180-degree turn:

He was about Walter’s own age, dark-haired and dark-eyed, handsome…. God, he was handsome. He wore his hair combed straight back over his head, the better to showcase his large brown eyes with their thick lashes. His chin was faintly stubbled with perhaps a day’s worth of beard, but it didn’t look messy, not on him. His face was lean, with high cheekbones and a certain suppleness around the mouth; Walter had seen his face in so many photographs, splashed on the front pages of newspapers and all over social media, but no photograph did him justice. He was beautiful. He was more beautiful in person than any man had a right to be.

Chase’s loneliness touches something in Walter, and before long the two become close. When Walter realizes he may be falling for Chase, however, he hesitates. Having lost his partner during the 9-11 attacks, Walter is reluctant to allow anyone into his heart—until Chase is kidnapped on a routine trip to Honduras, and held for ransom. Unable to do anything but wait by the phone, Walter draws on the strength of the people around him, hoping against hope that Chase will come back to him alive.

My Man Walter Blurb

Billionaire inventor Chase Gordon has just turned forty—and everything in his ordered little world is going to hell in an Hermès bag.My Man Walter-build front His acerbic English butler Juliet Lavish has decided to retire. The humanitarian church founded by his late parents has suddenly gone broke—in the middle of the jungle—in Honduras. Lastly, NYPD detective Brian Schrade wants to use Chase’s palatial mansion to hide Walter Godfrey, a newspaper reporter who might know something about a recent rash of mob-related business deals. Part of the deal is the conniving, misanthropic Alec Pratt, son of a local newspaper mogul and unapologetic police informant who just might have a teensy weensy crush on Brian Schrade.

But Walter isn’t safe, not at Chase’s residence or anywhere else. His too-frequent forays into the city—against Brian Schrade’s advice—make him a target, and his strong attraction to Chase Gordon is setting him up for some serious heartbreak. When Chase goes to Honduras to investigate the state of his family’s failing fortunes, he adds another trouble to the long list: he’s been set up for kidnapping.

 

About the Author

JSCook

J.S. Cook was born in a tiny fishing village on the seacoast of Newfoundland. Her love of writing manifested itself early when her mother, impressed with the quality of a school assignment she’d written, sent it to the editor of the local paper – who published it. Since then she has written novels, short stories, novellas, plays, radio scripts and some really, really bad poetry. She has worked as a housekeeper, nanny, secretary, publisher, parliamentary editor and a university lecturer, although this last convinced her never to step foot inside a classroom again. She holds a B.A. (Honors) and an M.A. in English Language and Literature, and a B.Ed in post-secondary education. She loves walking and once spent six hours walking the streets of Dublin, Ireland. She maintains she wasn’t lost, just “looking around”. She makes her home in St. John’s, Newfoundland, with her husband of 27 years and her spoiled rotten ‘dogter’, Lola, who always gets her own way.

You can find her at:
amazon.com/author/joannesopercook
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009515087900
twitter.com/jsopercook

Buy link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7372

A Free Dreamer Review: Line and Orbit (Root Code #1) by Sunny Moraine and Lisa Soem

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Line and OrbitWhat he’s been taught to fear could be his destiny…and his only hope.

Adam Yuga, a rising young star in the imperialist Terran Protectorate, is on the verge of a massive promotion…until a routine physical exam reveals something less than perfection. Genetic flaws are taboo, and Adam soon discovers there’s a thin line between rising star and starving outcast.

Stripped of wealth and position, stricken with a mysterious, worsening illness, Adam resorts to stealing credits to survive. Moments from capture by the Protectorate, help arrives in the form of Lochlan, a brash, cocksure Bideshi fighter.

Now the Bideshi, a people long shunned by the Protectorate, are the only ones who will offer him shelter. As Adam learns the truth about the mysterious, nomadic people he was taught to fear, Lochlan offers him not just shelter—but a temptation Adam can only resist for so long.

Struggling to adapt to his new life, Adam discovers his illness hides a terrible secret, one that the Protectorate will stop at nothing to conceal. Time is growing short, and he must find the strength to close a centuries-old rift, accept a new identity—and hold on to a love that could cost him everything.

 I’m always a sucker for some good sci-fi/fantasy and “Line and Orbit” definitely did not disappoint. It was funny, addicting, creative and unique.

Adam has it all: lots of money, a successful career, perfect health. That is, until he has to go through a health check for a promotion. The doctors find a small problem with his heart. Nothing life threatening, not in this day and age, but anything other than perfection is simply unacceptable and Adam suddenly finds himself without job, money and a rapidly deteriorating health. With his last bit of money he buys an old spaceship and leaves his home.

Lochlan hates the very thing Adam stands for, but when Adam literally falls in his arms, half dead and on the run, he saves the man’s life and takes him to the Bideshi homeship.

I absolutely loved the idea of the Bideshi. They’re space nomads, outsiders, exiles, outcasts and yet they have a rich history and a deep understanding of the stars, of their line and orbit. They’re magical. It’s not something I’ve ever encountered before and the authors did a wonderful job describing everything in great detail, without making it feel like an info dump, leaving me with a sense of wonder and a longing to join the Bideshi. That’s an example of excellent world building right there.

The romance is very slow to develop. It’s a bit of enemies-to-lovers, a trope that I really don’t like. That’s the only reason I didn’t give this a five star rating. But the slow pace suited the story. The two protagonists are so very different, everything else would have felt unrealistic to me. And I’m always thrilled when an author actually takes the time to develop a real romance, and doesn’t take the easy option of insta-love. Sex did happen, too, but it wasn’t explicit, and that kinda fit the story as well. The romance part was very balanced with the rest of the plot.

At times I wasn’t too sure if I like Lochlan, but he always won me over. Ultimately, I think I really like him, his character just takes a bit of getting used to. Adam, on the other hand, was somehow immediately likeable.

“Line and Orbit” does get a bit violent at times, so beware. Personally, I think fantasy isn’t really fantasy when you don’t get at least one battle scene and this book didn’t disappoint. I liked the spaceship battles, it’s not something I’ve read before.

Long story short: If you like a mix of romance, fantasy and sci-fi, you should read “Line and Orbit”.

I couldn’t help comparing this book to the truly epic “Song of the Navigator” by Astrid Amara. While “Line and Orbit” wasn’t quite as epically awesome, I can definitely recommend this to fans of “Song of the Navigator”.

I’m definitely going to read the rest of the series. I really enjoyed this.

Cover: I really like the cover by Kanaxa. It looks delightfully mysterious and the planets fit with the overall theme of the book.

Sales Links:  Samhain Publishing | ARe | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 325 pages
Published February 5th 2013 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN 1619212196 (ISBN13: 9781619212190)
Edition LanguageEnglish
URL
SeriesRoot Code #1

Series: Book 1 of the Root Code Series

An Ali Review: Keys (City of Keys #1) by Amber Kell and narrator Derrick McClain (audiobook)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
KeysAUDMy name is Octavius Septimus Stalk, but my friends call me Oss. I live in the City of Keys, a town of gears, keys, locks, and wonder. Our forefathers banished magic long ago, bolted the doors and locked everything up tight to keep people out and the town’s secrets in. Four Lock Lords control what information is left, and everyone else is left struggling to survive.

Despite what Thorne, my naïve lover, thinks, I was an orphan, but not a victim. When I walked the streets at the age of twelve, I learned fast where to steal the best food, how to use my daggers, and where to hide my would-be attackers’ bodies. No one suspected me of such violence. No one knew then or now that I have magic inside me.

Now, power hungry men intend to release the magic for their own benefit—at the expense of the rest of the city. We will stop them, even if Thorne must battle his own kin, even if I must reveal my hidden talents and the role I seem destined to play.
 
I really loved the world this author created.  It’s a fantasy world where all locks are controlled by the Key Lords and key keepers.  As a result they control the entire city and it has created a dramatic separation between the rich and the poor.  Oss and Thorne are on opposite sides of this divide yet still love each other.  The imagery was well done and I could envision the shop owners waiting every morning for a key keeper to arrive to unlock their business.  The two main characters were enjoyable and I liked both of them.  I also really liked that they were an established couple when the story begins.  There was also a host of side characters that were interesting and the set up for the next two books was good.  My only real complaint is there are many parts, especially at the beginning, where the prose is very purple.  It is ridiculously flowery and overly descriptive.  I wasn’t sure at first if I was going to like the book because of that but I ended up liking the world enough to over look it.  I will definitely be reading the next book in the series.
 
I did this on audio and I enjoyed the narrator a lot.  I thought he did a good job on all the voices and I will probably do the next one on audio also.
 
Cover by Anne CainI like the cover a lot.  It’s simple, yet it captures the mood and feel of the story.  

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | iTunes | Audible | Amazon

Book Details:

Narrator Derrick McClain
Length 6 hours and 48 minutes
Categories: Audiobooks,Amber Kell, City of Keys by Amber Kell
Book Type Audiobook
Other Formats :eBook,Paperback

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