Cover Reveal: Angel Martinez’s No Fae is an Island (Contest)

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If you follow this blog, you know that Angel Martinez’ Endangered Fae series is one of my favorites.  The fourth story, No Fae Is An Island is due to be released shortly.  Check out the cover, read the excerpt, and don’t miss out on the contest to enter at the end of the post!  Let’s take a closer look at No Fae Is An Island…

Book Name: No Fae Is An Island
Goodreads Link:
Author Name: Angel Martinez
Author Bio:

While Angel Martinez is the erotic fiction pen name of a writer of several genres, she writes both kinds of gay romance – Science Fiction and Fantasy. Currently living part time in the hectic sprawl of northern Delaware, (and full time inside the author’s head) Angel has one husband, one son, two cats, a changing variety of other furred and scaled companions, a love of all things beautiful and a terrible addiction to the consumption of both knowledge and chocolate.

  • Author Contact:
    Website: Erotic Fiction for the Hungry Mind
    Facebook:
    Goodreads:
    Email: ravenesperanza@yahoo.com

NoFaeIsAnIsland_WDTitle:  No Fae Is An Island (Endangered Fae #4) by Angel Martinez
Publisher: MLR Press
Cover Artist: Lex Valentine

Sales Links:  MLR Press

No Fae Is An Island Blurb:

Three years ago, Danu banished Diego for a time from the human world. Three years and three days doesn’t seem that long to be away from home but living among the wild fae can change a man and the human world returns the favor by changing while he’s gone. There’s a vampire on Tearmann Island’s security force. A curious selkie’s followed him home. So much to do to keep the world safe…but Diego’s no longer sure he has the right to interfere.

Theo Aguilar started his vampire life on the wrong side of the law. He’s killed and knows he’s dangerous if he doesn’t stay in control every moment. But the fae took him in and Prince Lugh has given him a position of trust. So when Diego and Finn are arrested on a diplomatic mission far from home, he knows his duty. He’s striking out on his own to rescue them, a lone vigilante once again, this time for the good guys. The only glitch? The selkie, Limpet, can’t seem to understand the alone part.

Categories: Contemporary, Fantasy, M/M Romance, Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy

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No Fae Is An Island Excerpt:

“You don’t need to come with me.” Theo fought clenched teeth. The selkie was a friend of Mr. Sandoval’s and Finn’s, too—Finn who had been so kind to him after accidentally squashing him in dragon form. No need to be rude.

“Quite all right. I’ve nothing better to do.”

“You can’t come with me,” Theo said in the chilliest, sternest tone he could muster.

“Oh, of course I can. I see quite well at night.”

Theo squeezed his eyes shut against the headache. It shouldn’t have been there. He’d fed that morning and napped the rest of the day in lethargic, sated bliss. Fine. He’ll get bored and leave soon. “All right. But you have to be quiet.”

“Yes, yes, of course. In case something bad is here. A pack of nixes maybe. Oh, they’re bad. Or a kraken tries to swim close and ambush you, yes? You’re a real warrior, then? Have you seen many battles? Do you have scars? I have scars, but only because I was very young—”

“Limpet.” Theo stopped and took the selkie’s chin in his hand, holding his head still. “Whispering is not being quiet.”

“Right you are. Sorry. You have beautiful eyes.”

Theo dropped his hand and walked away, shaking his head. It was going to be long night.

FaeBadgeTour Dates: 9/2/14

Tour Stops: Parker Williams, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Multitasking Mommas, Velvet Panic, Love Bytes, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Tara Lain, Amanda C. Stone, Hearts on Fire, Fallen Angel Reviews, Andrew Q. Gordon, Cate Ashwood, Regular Guys, Hot Romance, Gaylist Book Reviews, Romance the Night, Queer Town Abbey, Cathy Brockman Romances, Kimi-Chan, MM Good Book Reviews, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, Smoocher’s Voice, It’s Raining Men, Michael Mandrake

Contest:  Enter to win an eBook copy of “No Fae Is An Island”.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Use the Rafflecopter link provided for the entry form and for additional contest details.
Rafflecopter Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘No Fae Is An Island’

Cover Reveal Time for Angel Martinez’ No Fae Is An Island! (contest)

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Its release time for the 4th Book, No Fae is an Island,  in Angel Martinez’ Endangered Fae series, a favorite of mine!  Ready to see what’s next for this wonderful  group of characters?  Keep reading for more information and contest details…

 

Book Name: No Fae Is An Island
Goodreads Link:
Author Name: Angel Martinez
Publisher:  MLR Press LLC
Sales Links: http://www.mlrbooks.com/books.php

Author Bio:

While Angel Martinez is the erotic fiction pen name of a writer of several genres, she writes both kinds of gay romance – Science Fiction and Fantasy. Currently living part time in the hectic sprawl of northern Delaware, (and full time inside the author’s head) Angel has one husband, one son, two cats, a changing variety of other furred and scaled companions, a love of all things beautiful and a terrible addiction to the consumption of both knowledge and chocolate.

Author Contacts:

NoFaeIsAnIsland_200Title:  No Fae Is An Island (Endangered Fae #4) by Angel Martinez
Publisher: MLR Press
Cover Artist: Lex Valentine

Blurb:

Three years ago, Danu banished Diego for a time from the human world. Three years and three days doesn’t seem that long to be away from home but living among the wild fae can change a man and the human world returns the favor by changing while he’s gone. There’s a vampire on Tearmann Island’s security force. A curious selkie’s followed him home. So much to do to keep the world safe…but Diego’s no longer sure he has the right to interfere.

Theo Aguilar started his vampire life on the wrong side of the law. He’s killed and knows he’s dangerous if he doesn’t stay in control every moment. But the fae took him in and Prince Lugh has given him a position of trust. So when Diego and Finn are arrested on a diplomatic mission far from home, he knows his duty. He’s striking out on his own to rescue them, a lone vigilante once again, this time for the good guys. The only glitch? The selkie, Limpet, can’t seem to understand the alone part.

Categories: Contemporary, Fantasy, M/M Romance, Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy

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No Fae Is An Island Excerpt:

“You don’t need to come with me.” Theo fought clenched teeth. The selkie was a friend of Mr. Sandoval’s and Finn’s, too—Finn who had been so kind to him after accidentally squashing him in dragon form. No need to be rude.

“Quite all right. I’ve nothing better to do.”

“You can’t come with me,” Theo said in the chilliest, sternest tone he could muster.

“Oh, of course I can. I see quite well at night.”

Theo squeezed his eyes shut against the headache. It shouldn’t have been there. He’d fed that morning and napped the rest of the day in lethargic, sated bliss. Fine. He’ll get bored and leave soon. “All right. But you have to be quiet.”

“Yes, yes, of course. In case something bad is here. A pack of nixes maybe. Oh, they’re bad. Or a kraken tries to swim close and ambush you, yes? You’re a real warrior, then? Have you seen many battles? Do you have scars? I have scars, but only because I was very young—”

“Limpet.” Theo stopped and took the selkie’s chin in his hand, holding his head still. “Whispering is not being quiet.”

“Right you are. Sorry. You have beautiful eyes.”

Theo dropped his hand and walked away, shaking his head. It was going to be long night.

FaeBadgeTour Dates: 9/2/14

Tour Stops: Parker Williams, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Multitasking Mommas, Velvet Panic, Love Bytes, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Tara Lain, Amanda C. Stone, Hearts on Fire, Fallen Angel Reviews, Andrew Q. Gordon, Cate Ashwood, Regular Guys, Hot Romance, Gaylist Book Reviews, Romance the Night, Queer Town Abbey, Cathy Brockman Romances, Kimi-Chan, MM Good Book Reviews, Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves, Smoocher’s Voice, It’s Raining Men, Michael Mandrake

Contest: Rafflecopter Prize: E-copy of ‘No Fae Is An Island’. Use the Rafflecopter Link below to enter and for additional contest details.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

Rafflecopter Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway

August 2014 Summary of Reviews and Best August 2014 Covers

August 3d clip art

2014 3d clip art

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 Scattered Thoughts

And Rogue Words

August 2014 Book Review Summary

*Key:
STRW S series
C contemporary
F-fantasy
SF-science fiction
PN-paranormal
SP-supernatural
H-historical
HR-horror
N-Nonfiction
YA-young adult
Rating Scale: 1 to 5, 5 stars is outstanding, 1 not so much.

Note:  Starting in September, there will be an additional notation to credit the reviewer.

5 Star Rating:

Dissonance by Shira Anthony STRWCS
Deep Plunge by Rory Ni Coileain STRWFS
Double Up by Vanessa North STRWC
Finding Jackie by Lou Sylvre STRWCS
Head-On by John Inman STRWC
John and Jackie by TJ Klune, STRWC
Out In The Cold by Lee Brazil PF2014, STRWCS
Prevailing Winds by Laura Harner STRWCS
Semper Fae by Angel Martinez STRWFS

4 to 4.75 Star Rating:

City of Monsters by Andrea Speed (4) STRWSN
Delsyn’s Blues by Lou Sylvre (4.25) STRWCS
Designated Bottoms Anthology (4) STRWA
Devil’s Own by Susan Laine (4.5) STRWSNS
dr.a.g (A Photographic Journey) by Christopher Logan (4.75) STRWN
Gale Force by Rory Ni Coileain (4.75) (STRWFS)
Hard Act To Follow by Kimber Vale (4) STRWCS
Hero by Heidi Cullinan (4.25) STRWF
Midnight Rodeo: Homecoming by Kiernan Kelly, Julia Talbot and BA Tortuga (4.75) STRWSNA
Moving Mountains by Laura Harner (4.75) STRWCS
Not Fade Away by SE Jakes (4.25) STRWCS
Summer Son by Anna Martin (4) STRWC
You Can’t Go Home Again by Michael Murphy (4) STRWC
Wicked Winds by Havan Fellows (4.75) PF2014 story

3 to 3.75 Star Rating:

My Favorite Uncle by Marshall Thornton (3.5) STRWC
The Choosing by Annabelle Jacobs (3.25) STRWSF

2 to 2.75 Star Rating:

Queer Dirty Laundry by Jason Lloyd (2.5) STRWC

Best Covers of August 2014

City of MonstersDelsynsBluesLGDevil's Own coverDouble Up cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

City of Monsters, artist Simone
Delsyn’s Blues, artist Reese Dante
Devil’s Own, artist Brooke Albrecht
Double Up, artist L.C. Chase

FindingJackieLGHero cover

John & Jackie cover

My Favorite Uncle

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding Jackie, artist Reese Dante
Hero, Art director of Wilde City Press
John and Jackie, Reese Dante cover artist
My Favorite Uncle, Art Director of Wilde City Press

 

NotFadeAway_500x750Semper Fae coverSummer Son coverThe Choosing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not Fade Away, artist L.C. Chase
Semper Fae, Winterheart Designs
Summer Son, artist Aaron Anderson
The Choosing, artist Brooke Albrecht

September is here and This Week’s Schedule at ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords

Announcement clip artWinner Announcements:

Winner of The Wheel Mysteries Susan Laine contest is Anna Thompson
Winner of Lee Brazil’s contest is Prof VJ Duke
Winner of Midnight Rodeo Homecoming:Carrier V.
Winner of Rory Ni Coileain’s Soulshares Contest is Nikki R.

More announcements to come this month, including a new reviewer who will be starting mid September. But more on her later.

September is here. That’s amazing. I think because this summer was so unseasonably cool and delightful that I don’t have the same desperate need to have September appear this year. Already there have been plenty signs of fall. Leaves are falling, I have seen a kettle or two of Broadwings a flight mid migration, and I heard my first Eastern Screech Owl whinnying for its territory a few days ago. And my gardens, for the most part, are awash in blue.

I do love this time of year. So many changes happening outside. It’s my favorite time of the year.

Here are a few pictures from my yard…

Garden 2 Sept 1Garden Sept 1

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Now for the week ahead at ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords:

Monday, September 1:

  • A Barb Review: Bliss by Lisa Henry and Heidi Belleau
  • August Summary of Reviews and Best Covers

Tuesday, September 2:

  • Cover Reveal for Angel Martinez’ No Fae Is An Island (contest)
  • In the Author Spotlight:  Havan Fellows (contest)
  • Riptide Book Tour: Pulling Leather by L.C. Chase (contest)
  • A MelanieM Review:  Firestorm by Rory Ni Coileain

Wednesday, September 3:

  • In the Author Spotlight:  Angel Martinez on Fae, and her Series (contest)
  • Book Blast:  A Tooth for a Fang by Liv Olteano Tour and contest
  • Review:  A MelanieM Review: A Suitable Replacement by Megan Derr

Thursday, September 4:

  • KC Wells’ Learning To Love: Final Exam Book Tour and Contest
  • On Tour with Rae Brewer’s David Dilemma (contest)
  • A MelanieM Review:  Yakuza Courage by H.J. Brues

Friday, September 5:

  • Rebecca Cohen’s “Idolatry” Book Tour and contest
  • A MelanieM Review:  A Tooth for a Fang by Live Olteano

Saturday, September 6:

  • A MelanieM Review: Blown Chance by Havan Fellows
  • A MelanieM Review: Frank’s Knight (a PF2014 side story) by T.A. Webb

 

A Barb the Zany Lady Review: Bliss by Heidi Belleau and Lisa Henry

Rating: 4.5 stars

BlissTate Patterson comes to Beulah because he’s heard that it’s easy pickings. Unlike his hometown, there’s no crime, and therefore, no locks on doors. It would be simple to make a quick haul and get away, but just as he’s doing that, a cop grabs him at the train station, and he makes a run for it. He has to get back to Tophet, no matter what, but when it looks like there’s no escape, he seeks a diversion by punching a young man in the face, breaking his nose. Tate’s captured anyway, and the young man, Rory James, is sent to the hospital while Tate learns his punishment—rehabilitation through restitution. How hard could that be? Tate finds out when he’s sentenced to seven years of service to the man he hurt. He knew he shouldn’t have thrown that punch, but seven years?

Review:

Beulah is the perfect town with the perfect justice system. In fact, it seems to exist in a bubble. There is very little crime and there are no jails. Almost everyone arrested plea bargains for a 7-year sentence, because, if they go to trial and are convicted, the sentence is life. Once found guilty, the criminal is fitted with an implanted chip in the brain, one that guarantees that they will remain docile. What many people don’t know, however, is that the chip will not allow that man to resist any command given to him by his “master”, the sponsor, who in almost all cases is the victim of the crime perpetrated.

When Rory receives custody of Tate, his new “rezzy”, the nickname given to those in the restitution program, he’s initially very wary, quite fearful of having this man in his home. He’s so new to the town himself, that he doesn’t yet understand or trust the system. But he comes to see that Tate is constantly looking for guidance and expressing his regret. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry” is a constant refrain. Then he discovers that Tate would prefer to be naked and on his knees as he begs for sex every time he greets Rory at the front door. When Rory finally gives in, feeling like a heel for doing so, he can’t quite reconcile Tate’s pleas for “more” and “harder”, when Tate is actually crying and moaning as if in pain.

Despite his better judgment, and under the guidance and counsel of his supervisor, Justice Lowell, he keeps Tate and continues to have sex with him. Justice Lowell acts as his friendly confidante and advisor, as Rory acclimates to Beulah and to his new job in the court system. He’s left Tophet, his hometown, behind him—a dirty, crime- and grime-filled dump, and he’s really happy to have that behind him, but he starts to question why Tate is so obedient and so obsessed with servitude and sex, especially when Tate is never able to verbalize answers to any questions about his own past in Tophet. If anything, the more he is ordered to perform certain tasks, both household and sex, the more he appears to enter a state of happiness that can only be described as bliss. Rory is told, “They’re always happy”, so many times that he feels he needs to believe that to assuage his own conscience.

As the tale unfolds, the authors delve more deeply into the personalities and complexities of the secondary characters. Justice Lowell is the type of guy who is friendly with all of his office staff, and one night, convinces Rory to host an impromptu office party for all of them. It’s then that Rory notices that Aaron, their cute and exuberant office intern seems uncomfortable around Lowell, especially once Lowell gets drunk and starts to make a pass at him. Two days later, he finds out that Aaron has been “caught” stealing and is now Lowell’s rezzy. Shocked, Rory tries to find out more, but is met with a dead end and a boss who tells him that he needs to learn to accept the way things are done in Beulah.

As time goes on and more and more incidents cause Rory to question what is really going on in this town, he endangers himself through his rebelliousness and will be lucky to escape the same fate as Tate and Aaron.

It… It hurts. Help. Me.

As a reader, I was particularly troubled during the times when Tate tried to break through the chip to speak to Rory to make him aware of what was going on. The chip causes tremendous pain each time a rezzy tries to break through the barrier. And, though we spend more time listening to Tate’s inner turmoil and powerlessness, we also share in Aaron’s pain which is manifested through excessive nosebleeds, so we see these very engaging characters struggling through extreme physical pain and, though we know what they want to say, we bear witness to what is actually said, and it’ s never what is intended. They’re always happy. But they really aren’t, and I found it painful to read these passages.

In fact, I started feeling depressed and reluctant to pick up the story again. Not because it was so poorly written, like others that I’ve hesitated to continue to read in the past, but because it was so well-written that I became one with the character. I hurt for Tate and Aaron so much!

On the flip side, I loved the surprising twist the story takes when Rory finally takes action. On the one hand, I knew something good would happen, but on the other hand, I was indeed surprised when it happened the way it did. And, of course, this dynamic author duo provided us with a satisfying HEA for all involved, though it was hard-earned.

So, I’m torn in my rating, because I realize it was so well written and the plot was extremely imaginative and well executed, that it might deserve a 5, yet it had so many dark and depressing elements that I may not have finished it if I hadn’t committed to a review. Therefore, I’m going with 4.5 stars.

I recommend it to those who enjoy a dark tale with non-con and dub-con scenes and/or a look into a non-conventional, yet Earth-based, world. And if you love angst, this is the story for you!

Cover Art by Kanaxa, http://www.kanaxa.com
Layout: L.C. Chase
— The cover depicts a very “blissful” expression on a handsome young man’s face. Sweet!

Sales Links: Riptide Publishing  All Romance eBooks (ARe)      Amazon             <a href=”Bliss

Book Details:

ebook, 230 pages
Published August 18th 2014 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN139781626491380
edition languageEnglish
urlhttp://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/bliss

A MelanieM Review: Deep Plunge (SoulShares #3) by Rory Ni Coileain

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

DeepPlungeCoverFor over two thousand years Lochlann Doran has wandered the continents of Earth, watching as little by little his magic dwindled away to nothing. For Lochlann Doran’s a Fae torn from his war torn world, his soul sundered as he was sent through the Pattern by fellow Loremaster and friend Cuinn to Earth. Now only his faceted aquamarine eyes and the fact that he can’t die remain as reminders of his true nature. Also lost? The ability to heal that goes along with being a Fae of the Demesne of Water.

Stripper Garrett Templar has been dancing along time. The club Purgatory, prior to being bought by Tiernan Guiare, was a hard, indifferent place to work. Garrett turned tricks in the back room to pay his bills and rent, something that would never happen now. But then? The dancers were unprotected by management something Garrett found out the hard way when at eighteen, one of the johns he entertained infected him with HIV. And while it may have been a “manageable” disease” with others, in his system the virus has inexplicably mutated into full-blown AIDS. And no known cocktail has managed to work to slow it down. Now the only place Garrett can find solace is to loose himself as he dances on stage, always alone by necessity and by choice.

Then Lochlann’s travels brings him into Washington, DC and to the very stage in Purgatory where Garrett is dancing.  It only takes a few glances for the SoulShares bond to snap to attention, startling Garrett and freaking out Lochlann deeply.  Lochlann never expected to find his SoulShare after so many centuries alone.  And then he finds out from Garrett that he is dying from AIDS.  Lochlann is devastated.  If he had his magic back, he could heal Garrett immediately.  But his magic is gone.  And Garrett flees from Lochlann, not wanting to hope for a future he is sure they can never have.

But Purgatory has more surprises in store for Lochlann when the SoulShares appear along with his ex friend and now old enemy, Loremaster Cuinn.  It seems their ancient evil, Marfach, has  stirred and wants access to a unSouled Fae to return Marfach to the Realm.  And Lochlann is the key to the  survival of all.

Deep Plunge is the penultimate story in Rory Ni Coileain’s SoulShares series and with it Ni Coileain’s achieves a remarkable bit of storytelling. There is a huge amount of world building going on here.  Two universes, that of the Fae Realm and that of modern urban Washington, DC, are both rendered with equal amounts of realism and imagination.  Then the author builds onto that an epic battle of good and evil (evil being the Marfach) where evil almost conquered all.  It left behind a blackened Fae landscape and a multitude of dead or dying Fae.  To support such a cataclysmic event, Rory Ni Coileain builds a Fae society in dire straits, one that has to re-imagine itself in order to survive.  That aspect of this story is mesmerizing, the history constructed to make all the events that occur in the books not only necessary but manipulated and foretold (yes, two different things are happening here…this layering is magnificent).

Facts about the Fae and the Pattern that we thought we knew from prior events are turned on their head here.  Nothing is as it has seemed.  There are so many elements in play here that you almost have to pause in your reading to make sure you have it all straight, including the latest revelations that have knocked you (and the characters) right on their butts.  I love it when that happens.  Smoke and mirrors, or merely the Fae at work…doesn’t matter because the end result is magical, suspenseful, and downright addictive.

The two protagonists here are unarguably poignant,  deeply damaged characters, each with an emptiness inside where their other souled half should reside (more universe building).  That they have found each other should be cause for celebration.  Instead its marked by pain, and enough angst to fill a bathtub. Ni Coileain pulls off  terrific non-human characters in her Fae.  They do not have the same emotions as humans so that the fact that half their souls end up in humans is not only a neat twist but helps pull all the author’s Fae back down into characters we can empathize with as well as connect with on an elemental basis.  For their human Soulshares it is easy to believe in them and their myriad lifestyles and issues.  All couples from previous stories appear in important roles here as Ni Coileain starts pulling together all the threads she has been sowing in the books so far.  But of them all, Garrett and Lochlann have to be among the most star-crossed.  Garrett who’s HIV became full blown AIDS in almost no time and Lochlann the person who loves him and should be able to cure him but can’t.  It’s both poetic and unbearably painful.

Trust me when I say it almost hurts not to spill all the details that are revealed here, the twists, the turns, the “never saw that coming” revelations.  And Deep Plunge sets all the  elements rolling for the final story in the series, Firestorm.  The final battle between the Marfach against the Fae and humans is almost here.  Who will be able to stop them?  I can’t wait to find out!  Mark this series down as a Must Read and this story as one of the best of the year!  What an adventure Rory Ni Coileain has pulled us into!  A multidimensional saga with characters who continue to astonish and deep loves that have me swooning for more.  Consider the series, the story and the author among ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords Highly Recommended Reads!

Cover art by Allen Penn.  Does a great job branding the series but missing the fantasy element.

Sales Links:      Ravenous Romance        All Romance eBooks (ARe)     Amazon          Deep Plunge

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 202 pages
Published August 28th 2013 by Ravenous Romance
ASINB00EV7OAYU
edition languageEnglish
seriesSoulShares #3

Books in the SoulShares series in the order they were written and should be read are:

Hard As Stone (SoulShares #1)
Gale Force (Soulshares #2)
Deep Plunge (SoulShares #3)
Firestorm (SoulShares #4)

A MelanieM Review: Summer Son by Anna Martin

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Summer Son coverIt wasn’t Ellis Broad’s idea to have a child in the first place, it was his husband, Oliver’s. Now 29, Ellis finds himself divorced and the single father of Harrison, his six-month old son.  Turned out that Harrison was Ellis’ biological son not his husband’s and that changed everything.  Now Ellis is raising his son alone, while  working at home full time at his graphic design business.  The only thing keeping him going was his closeknit circle of friends and occasional babysitting from his mother.  Everyone calls it hiding, but Ellis just sees it as his life…a full time dad.

But his friends have other ideas and introduce Ellis to artist Zane Hadlin.  From the first moment they meet, sparks fly.  Ellis feels an ease and companionship with Zane that he never had with Oliver.  And the feelings are reciprocated.  However Zane comes with some serious baggage.   Zane and his older brother got  mixed up with gangs when they were younger and it got his older brother killed.  It also put Zane and his family into hiding, complete with a different last name.  Truly scary stuff for Ellis with a young son to look after.

And Oliver hasn’t completely disappeared from their lives. A chance meeting with Zane, Ellis and Harrison on an outing together starts Oliver poking into Zane’s background in a rush of jealousy. Why? Because it is clear that Ellis has never been this happy.  He has Zane, Harrison and a new outlook on life.  But will Oliver’s interference and Zane’s past conspire to take it all away?

I really enjoyed Summer Son by Anna Martin.  Much like its title, the story runs along slow, warm, unhurried lines.  It’s highlights are a collection of small scenes of domesticity and the deeply moving bond between a father and his son.  Its reminiscent of summer picnics at a park, looking over at all the couples and families spread out on their blankets and tables, watching small intimacies of tenderness and family love.

At the heart of this story is Ellis and Harrison, his six-month old son.  Their moments together are delightful and affectionately real.  Ellis copes with sleep deprived days and nights, working when Harrison is asleep and totally consumed with his son when Harrison is awake.  We are privy to all the details first time parents make note of and all the development progress that parents celebrate.  It’s loving, warm, and rings with authenticity.  It’s probably my favorite aspect of this story.

Ellis Broad comes across as very believable, especially in his role as a loving but stressed out father.  That’s a huge load to carry but Ellis is also shouldering parental duties alone at a stage in his life he never anticipated.  Gone, or so he thinks, are his dreams for a loving husband and the life they talked about together.  Now Ellis is withdrawn and mistrustful of anything that looks like romance and commitment until a young artist walks into his life, making him question his beliefs and decisions.  I really loved Ellis.  In fact its really hard not to, especially when he has Harrison in tow.

Zane Hadlin is interesting in his own right.  Young, gay and of arabic descent, his gang membership was due to a sense of obligation to his brother and mother.  The death of his brother changed everything for him and his family.  Now a talented artist, Zane also works with children with special needs.  Those scenes will really help to connect you with Zane, including the games he plays with Harrison.

The men finds themselves moving into love and a relationship with a certain amount of thoughtfulness and ease.  The drama, when it comes, is gently dealt with, the hurt kept to a reasonable level, and the ending joyful and completely satisfactory.  I know that for some readers the addition of a family or child pushes the romance into the background and its does so here.  If you are strictly looking for a hot “jump your bones” sort of romance, this is probably not the story for you.  But if you enjoy reading about the formation of a family, and loving relationships, then you will find this gentle novel a lovely read and Anna Martin a new author  who’s stories you will look forward to.

Cover Art:  Aaron Anderson.  How could you not love that cover?  It’s wonderful and perfect for this story.

Sales Links:        Dreamspinner Press                 All Romance eBooks             Amazon           Summer Son

Book Details:
book, 200 pages
Published August 1st 2014 by Dreamspinner Press (first published July 31st 2014)
ISBN139781627987295
edition languageEnglish
urlhttp://www.dreamspinnerpress.com

A Quick Stop Tour with Vanessa North and Double Up! (contest)

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Heard about wakeboarding?  Love a hot romance and even better love story?  Combine all three and you have Double Up by Vanessa North.  I loved this book and think you will too.  I even admit to more than my share of giggling over the characters and dialog.  But hear is Vanessa North to tell you a little about herself and Double Up.  And there’s a giveaway for a $15 Riptide Gift Card!  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Now let’s get started!

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Hi everyone! I’m Vanessa North, and I’m touring this week to talk about my new release, Double Up: how it got started, a scene that almost happened, and the sport of wakeboarding–how it influenced me, why I love it so much, and how it shaped the characters in the story.

Contest: Join me on the tour and leave a comment on this post to enter the giveaway for a $15 Riptide Gift Card! Be sure to include your email address in the comment so that I can contact you if you win! I’ll be drawing the winner at the end of the blog tour.

Double Up Book Blurb:

Knowing he’s loved can make any man fly.

Fifteen years ago, Ben Warren was a wakeboarding champion: king of big air, ballsy tricks, and boned grabs. Until a career-ending injury left him broken in ways he still has no hope of fixing. Now he takes his thrills where he can get them, and tries not to let life hurt too much.

Then Davis Fox arrives in Ben’s sporting goods store with a plan to get in touch with his estranged brother by competing in the annual wakeboarding double-up contest. The catch? He’s never ridden before. It’s crazy, but Ben’s a sucker for the guy’s sob story—and for his dimples, too—so he agrees to coach Davis.
Davis is everything Ben isn’t: successful, confident, and in love with life. And he wants Ben to love life—and him—too. But before Ben can embrace a future with Davis, he needs to remember how to hope.

Double Up coverBook Details:

Title:  Double Up by Vanessa North
Publisher:  Riptide Publishing
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase

Sales Link:         Double Up Book Page at Riptide

About the Author

Author of over a dozen novels, novellas, and short stories, Vanessa North delights in giving happy-ever-afters to characters who don’t think they deserve them. Relentless curiosity led her to take up knitting and run a few marathons “just to see if she could.” She started writing for the same reason. Her very patient husband pretends not to notice when her hobbies take over the house. Living and writing in Northwest Georgia, she finds her attempts to keep a quiet home are frequently thwarted by twin boy-children and a very, very large dog.

 

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Connect with Vanessa:
Website: vanessanorth.com
Facebook profile page: facebook.com/AuthorVanessaNorth
Twitter: @VanessaNWrites
Goodreads: goodreads.com/VanessaNorth

Catch Me At RJ Scott’s Bloggers Blog Spotlight Today

 

 

It’s Scattered Thoughts

and Rogue Words Day

at RJ Scott’s!

 

“When we are young, the words are scattered all around us. As they are assembled by experience, so also are we, sentence by sentence, until the story takes shape.” – Louise Erdrich

 

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Good Morning, All!  I’m over at RJ Scott’s website today for her Blogger Blog Tour! I wanted to give a little background information on myself, ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords, and all things books for those not familiar with this blog, the reviewers, and all the things we get into here, mostly focused on books!  So head on over and check out RJ Scott’s website, her press Love Lane Books, and my blog for today.  You can find her here!

At the time I sent her the information, Barb the Zany Old Lady hadn’t come on board yet as a reviewer.  But be sure to give her a welcome in your comments!

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So welcome to ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords! Home to some crazy ladies, tons of books reviews, author interviews, and thoughts on writing!  We’re growing and the site will be undergoing changes in slow to middling hops and leaps. If you are love to read and write reviews, consider writing them for us.  We supply the books, you supply the review! Let us know what you think of them….and us of course!  Check out our latest reviews and sign up for our latest contests while you are here.  And speaking of contests…

I am offering up a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky person who visits my blog and leaves a comment during RJ’s blogger event. Open worldwide (I am sure I can figure out how to get a Amazon UK card to you all overseas). Contest runs until September 19th as here in the States as August is the time when the government is out of session and everyone is on vacation!

 

Here are some of my favorite covers so far this month!  Have you read their reviews?  Don’t leave without checking them out!

City of Monsters

John & Jackie coverDouble Up coverDevil's Own cover

A MelanieM Review: City of Monsters by Andrea Speed

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

City of MonstersHunter Burrows used to be an insurance investigator on Earth.  But something happened 6 months ago and Hunter  ended up a shifter of unknown species who was transported to Nightshade, a literal city of monsters in a near-Earth dimension called Dev. Nightshade is filled with vampires, weres of all types, zombies, reverse tooth fairies, and yes, even Yetis.  Left somewhat amnesiac by the transition between dimensions, Hunter learns that having a job is high priority and becomes a finder for a fee.  Since Hunter doesn’t know what type of shifter he is, he can pass between territories when on a mission.

Still Hunter is depressed about his new status and, apparently permanent, new city.  He spends his time gambling and drinking, taking jobs when necessary to eat and pay the rent.  But all that changes when Hunter runs into a new arrival in Nightshade.  Sakari Karim has just been transported into Nightshade and Hunter fears leaving a “newbie” alone on the streets.  Plus it doesn’t hurt that Sakura is handsome and gay as well.

When Hunter is pressed into looking for the twin brother of a reverse tooth fairy, Sakura comes along to help.  Will Sakari change Hunter’s luck?  Will Hunter and Sakari ever find out what type of weres they are?  Is romance in the cards for Hunter and Sakari?   Take a trip into the city of Nightshade for the answers and a ton of fun too!

I am a fan of Andrea Speed.  From Infected‘s Roan to Josh of the Damned and all manner of creatures in between, Andrea Speed’s inventive and somewhat warped mind continues to create some of the funniest, wildest, and over the top species and worlds around.

In City of Monsters, Speed returns to her Josh of the Damned universe, a place ruled by Medusa, the god who runs this particular universe.  Nightshade the city is full of dark towers, condominiums for the unearthly, the slums of Dog Town where packs of werewolves roam and trash piles up to the ordered and upscale vampire district where vampire run casinos are always open and suckers are not always willing.  All types of beings go about their businesses here, including several that we have meet before in the Josh of the Damned series, like the lizard people, the reverse tooth  fairies and the Yeti.  I couldn’t have been happier to have them back.

Into this maelstrom of the supernatural and unearthly are plopped former human beings who were unlucky enough to have a magical animal attack/encounter on Earth and have been transformed into a type of were or supernatural being.  Upon being bitten or what have you, the unlucky person is transferred to Dev almost immediately, losing most of their memories in the process.  What a shock to the system and that has made Hunter an unhappy boy!  I love that Speed brings this weirdly attractive and out of whack place vividly to life.   Nightshade itself is easily pictured from the clear images her descriptions convey.  There is the classy vampire district that lies next to Dog Town, a smelly place where the werewolves pee constantly marking their territory and the buildings resemble that of a slum.  The intersection of Pierce Avenue and Barker Lane mark the division of territories…of course!  The vampire boss of the casino is  called Macula (duh) whose gang of poseurs calls itself Bloody Monday, a criminal gang called the Lobos that operates out of dog town, and Mustafa, a vegan vampire who faints at the sight of blood and favors Hawaiian shirts, sno cones,  while trying to stay out of everyones way.

In Andrea Speed’s world, no detail is too small to play with, no large element too big to get its own makeover ala Nightshade style.  It’s funny, sometimes priceless and yes, there’s a romance as well.  Hunter is depressed, lonely, and constantly plagued by his possessed blender for fresh fruit to make smoothies. Yep, one of the funniest characters is Blender, a happy, fruit loving blender with a need to please and make delightful concoctions.  A true favorite of mine! Back to Hunter, he is also an out of control gambler who tries to forget his woes at the local vampire casinos, never a good idea.  His occupation?  He finds things, creatures, what ever you want because he can cross territories that others cannot.  We don’t get a lot of back history on Hunter or even Sakari, because we can’t.  The trip in between dimensions robs them of their memories of their past lives for the most part.  So Nightshade really represents a tabula rasa for them.  It will be what they make of it, if they survive that is.

I wish that Hunter and Sakari had more time together to make the burgeoning romance between them more a thing of  sexual heat and attraction than circumstance and availability.  I really liked what I learned of Sakari, including an ongoing need for an adrenaline rush.  Had this story been enlarged a bit to include more of their new life together, that would have made their relationship feel more authentic than it does in places here.  But if the romance comes across a little less substantial, Speed makes up for it with her hysterical and addictive characters.  Terry the reverse tooth fairy missing her twin brother Larry. Wulf the head of the Lobo gang and all are unable to make their cell phones work.  Why?  No one is sure but “they bet Verizon is involved”.

I laughed, I guffawed, and had to keep going back to reread certain paragraphs that I missed because I was giggling too hard to read.  I only wish that Josh and the others had shown up as well.  Then this would have been perfect.  As it is Dev and the city of Nightshade are locations that I can never visit frequently enough.  I leave the stories wanting more of the characters, their wild new lives, and wanting to see all the city inhabitants I haven’t met yet.  I want to know where the Yetis live and the lizard people too.  More I say, much, much more, please!

If you are looking for romance alone, this might not be the story for you.  But if you love to laugh, enjoy clever jokes and a neat turn of phrase , zany storylines, as well as characters you will never forget, then Andrea Speed should be a “go to”  author for you.  Enjoy the insanely delicious bon mots that are tossed here and there, the cultural references obscure and common, and the creativity that flows from start to end.  I loved it and read it twice to get all the bits and pieces I missed the first time around.  For bonus stories, also pick up the Josh of the Damned stories, short reads all but irresistibly hard to put down.

Cover art by Simone.  Loved it, what a fun graphic!

Note:  This title is part of the My Haunted Blender’s Gay Love Affair, and Other Twisted Tales collection. – See more at Riptide Publishing City of Monsters page. 
Sales Links:   Riptide Publishing          All Romance eBooks (ARe)         Amazon             City of Monsters

Andrea Speed’s Josh of the Damned series include:

Josh of the Damned Triple Feature #1
Peek-A-Boo (Josh of the Damned #2)
Josh of the Damned #3.5: Night of the Dust Bunnies
Josh of the Damned Triple Feature #2: The Final Checkout

Book Details:

ebook, 80 pages
Published August 11th 2014 by Riptide Publishing
original titleCity of Monsters
ISBN139781626491786
edition languageEnglish
urlhttp://www.riptidepublishing.com/

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