An Ali Release Day Review: Model Investigator (Haven Investigations #3) by Lissa Kasey

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Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
With his lover, Kade, missing, androgynous former model turned private investigator Ollie Petroskovic is ready to kick some ass to bring him home.

Ollie and his ex, rock star Jacob Elias, need to find Kade and free him from the clutches of his manipulative family. But with Ollie suffering from chronic migraines and Jacob unable to bear loud noises, they are hardly the dynamic duo. It takes a lot of sweet talking on the part of Jacob, and patience Ollie doesn’t have, to find Kade. Only Kade’s not whole anymore. The fight for Kade’s heart and mind is far from over.

It’s Ollie’s turn to guide Kade through nightmares, self-doubt, and PTSD. Kade’s memories are scattered, fragmented with possible horrors, and he’s not quite sure what is real. Ollie will have to draw on his investigative skills to clear Kade of the terrible accusations his family has made and help Kade unlock the truth. But in doing so, he ignores his own health, which could have catastrophic consequences for everyone, especially when digging up the past could be lethal for them all.
This book picks up a little over a month down the road from when the last book ended.  Kade is still gone and Ollie is doing horribly.  He’s having physical problems from his injuries and he’s barely functioning emotionally. His friends have stepped up and are helping in every way they can but Ollie knows something has to give soon.  As the story goes on they get Kade back but things are still really bad for both men and they have some serious struggles ahead of them.
One of my favorite things about this book was how well Kade and Ollie communicate and how they work through their problems together.  I think this author does a great job of showing people being in a healthy relationship.  They each have some issues but they work together to solve them and they are a true partnership.
I enjoyed the plot for the most part but I found myself a little confused in places in regards to the plot with Kade’s family.  It took a whole lot of suspension of reality to follow it.  There were some big reveals in regards to that and while some plotlines were wrapped up but one major one still to go.  This one ends with a mild cliffhanger (not a big one like last book).
This book does not work as a standalone.  You would need to be caught up on the series to understand what was going on here.  Overall, I enjoyed this and I definitely recommend it to fans of this series.
Cover art: The cover was done by Garrett Leigh.  I have mixed feelings about the cover.  I think it looks great and I love the artistry of it. It also ties in really well with the previous two books.  On the flip side though the model doesn’t like either of the MC’s at all.
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 270 pages
Published June 26th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ASINB071WRLK4X
Series Haven Investigations #3

An Ali Release Day Review: Coach’s Challenge (Scoring Chances #5) by Avon Gale

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
It’s been decades since blackmail forced Troy Callahan to retire from playing professional hockey, and he’s built a successful career behind the bench. When he’s offered the opportunity to coach the Asheville Ravens—the most hated team in the ECHL—he’s convinced that his no-nonsense attitude is just what the team needs to put their focus back on hockey. But Troy is disheartened when he finds out the Ravens have signed Shane North, a player known for his aggression—especially when Shane’s rough good looks have Troy thinking inappropriate thoughts about a player, even if he’s set to retire at the end of the season.

Shane’s career in the majors never quite took off. Wanting to quit on his own terms, Shane agrees to a one-year contract with the Ravens and finds himself playing for a coach who thinks he’s an aging goon, and with a team that doesn’t trust him, Troy, or each other. Despite his determination not to get involved, Shane unwillingly becomes part of the team… and is just as unwillingly drawn to the gruff, out-and-proud coach. As the Ravens struggle to build a new identity, Shane and Troy succumb to the passion that might cost them everything.
This was a really fun and entertaining read.  It was a lighter installment than the last two books in the series and it was nice to get back to the easy flow of the first books.  Troy and Shane are a bit older and their relationship is different in that it’s a coach/player dynamic.  Fortunately the way it was done didn’t leave any creepy power imbalance vibes.  Shane was older and close to retiring so he seemed like an equal to Troy.  They were both also snarky and funny and I think I laughed out loud more in this book than any of the others.  If you are a hockey fan you will really appreciate some of the remarks (& if not you’ll still be entertained).
I enjoyed the humor and the easy way they came together.  It’s nice to find romance books without all the angst and drama sometimes.  My only complaint though was that these two were so snarky and teasing with each other that I didn’t feel a strong connection.  I know that was their personalities but I wanted to see some sweet or loving or romantic declarations during their intimate times but we didn’t really get that.  I new really felt a love match between them.  A great friendship and some smexy times yes, but I wasn’t feeling the love even by the end.
This can be read as a standalone.  There are some cameos by Isaac/Laurent and Misha/Max (which is always a treat) but this storyline works just fine on it’s own.  We get to know a few other teammates a bit better and hopefully we’ll be seeing some of them getting their own books down the road. 
If you’re a fan of the series I think you will enjoy this.  If you are knew to this series, this one wasn’t my favorite, but it was still really enjoyable and I would recommend it.
Cover:  This cover was done by Aaron Anderson.  I loved this cover and I think that this series has some of the best covers in the genre.  They are artistically striking but they also really represent not only the plot of the books but of the sport itself.  Every one has been fresh and different but equally good.
Book Details:
ebook, 200 pages
Published June 26th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781635337662
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesScoring Chances #5

A Lila Review: Waiting for You (Lifesworn #1) by Megan Derr

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Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

Shanna has spent her whole life waiting—waiting to be old enough, waiting for the day she must pick a consort, waiting for a chance to finally overcome her despicable stepfather… and waiting for someone to finally banish the loneliness that comes with being a queen-in-waiting one step away from being murdered.

On the eve of the two-week event during which she must pick a consort from a bevy of suitors, two strangers arrive claiming to have been invited—though she knows full well they did not receive any such invitation. But the handsome, mischievous Prince Kallaar is too intriguing to resist, and his quiet bodyguard too compelling to ignore…

But she’s learned the hard way never to let anyone get too close, and on the verge of gaining true independence her stepfather will stop at nothing to see she never gets it.

Waiting For You is an interesting take on triad stories in a fantasy setting.  Between this and the fairy tale-like plot, it almost felt as a fae poly troupe. It starts directly into the action and we get to meet Shanna and learned about her life up to that moment. At the same time, we are introduced to other relevant characters in the story.

As with other stories by this author, the main characters’ sexuality is not an issue. In their world, they have a sort of implicit bisexuality that it’s natural and accepted. Which opens the door to a diverse group of consort prospects for Shanna. They come, by invitation, to take part of the two-week festivities and we learned enough about the candidates, their lands, and how they all would benefit from a marriage alliance—including the uninvited prince and his bodyguard.

I enjoyed the story, but the world-build and the characters’ connection wasn’t strong enough to carry the plot forward. It is a good introduction to the series and it’s probably going to get better in the next books, but at the moment is hard to see how they would work as a triad in the future. We will have to wait and see.

The cover by Natasha Snow is pretty, but similar to other covers by the artist. It has a fantasy feel but could be used for other genres as well.

Sale Links: NineStar | AmazonNook

ebook, 173 pages
Published: June 5, 2017, NineStar Press
ISBN: 9781947139169
Edition Language: English

Series: Lifesworn
Book #1: Waiting For You

Erik Swill on Characters, Personal Experience and his story ‘Too Many Temples (World of Love)’ (guest blog)

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Too Many Temples (World of Love) by Erik Swill

Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Maria Fanning

Available for Purchase at

Dreamspinner Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Erik Swill here today on his Too Many Temples tour. Welcome, Erik, please tell us a little bit about yourself and your latest story.

✒︎

 

I am thrilled that my latest novella, Too Many Temples, is set to be published by Dreamspinner Press in June 2017. I’m also happy to have the opportunity to rant a little bit about myself here on Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words. And what better way to do so than to say just how dissimilar I am personally from the characters I write!

I have always found this curiosity on how much an author is like the characters they write to be odd. Usually characters are assumed to be manifestations of the author. Naturally, it is difficult for a writer to express him or herself without letting personal biases, prejudices and experiences flavoring the way we write. This applies even when creating a whole new world and a character that is supposed to be as far removed from ourselves as possible. After all, if the character is nothing like the author, then that means the act of penning this character used the author as the model in which to “other” it.

Many authors seem to be limited to creating characters that are based on themselves and follow a n event that happened in their life or someone close to them (or worse yet, something they saw on a Lifetime television movie and decided to give the story a queer twist to it). Some authors are good enough writers and have interesting enough lives that they can pull it off. Others less so.

I like to think that I have lived an interesting life as well! But I don’t like the idea of crafting a character based on something that happened in my life. I mean, I write fiction. Why shouldn’t I “make something up”??? I see that as a sort of standard for fiction writing anyhow. Write fiction, not your life story with different names for the characters.

Writing under other names, I have had readers (sometimes scarily so!) grill me to find out just how similar the protagonist and his actions are to my own life. I love it if readers enjoy the character I’ve written, but I never really understood the need to know how much it is based on my own life. In general, my stock reply is that the character is not based on me or anyone I know. I created them.

But … I also tend to write using settings and scenarios that I am familiar with. This is a blessing and a curse. Obviously, it reduces the amount of research I need to do if I already know the material and location(s) inside and out! But it also can be frustrating. If I do write a unique (read: crazy, off-the-wall, you’d-never-believe-it-if-you-didn’t-see-it) event into a story–something that I witnessed firsthand or something that happened to me–it runs the risk of being criticized for being unrealistic. A reviewer telling you that something that happened in your life that you inserted into your book isn’t realistic … when it DID actually happen like that in real life … well? [Throws slipper at laptop in outrage while cursing their ignorance] How else to respond?

But I digress. What I DO acknowledge is that my personal experiences very much so influence how I write my settings, scenarios and the characters’ reactions to the world around them. This is how I interpret the question “how much of you is written into your characters?”

I travel a lot. Sometimes because I have to but mostly because I can’t sit still for too long in one place. Call it a travel bug or some mental disorder–whatever it is, though, it works for me. Because when I travel, I am throwing myself into a set of scenarios that I would not otherwise come across. I’m pulled out of my comfort zone and need to consider how I would deal with the challenges that confront me. Later in retrospect, I can rethink my actions (or lack thereof) and reimagine how else I could have reacted in those situations if I were someone else … like one of my would-be characters. If one of those what-if scenarios sits well in my head, then a possible plot element is born or a potential character trait starts to develop.

Now I’m living in a country where I only speak a basic amount of the language. Ya, it’s still at a basic level from a complete lack of effort on my part. My bad. But while that limits me from some spheres, it also can lead to some pretty challenging situations. And that’s always good fodder for fiction. So while the specific turn of events or even content of the (failed) interaction are easily transferred to other cultural settings, the human element is very relevant. How did it make me feel when I really wanted low-fat vanilla almond milk in my coffee but the barista misunderstood what I had said and gave me low-fat regular milk instead? {Shock and horror] Still, that awkwardness in communicating across languages and/or cultures exists in so many different contexts. So I can, for example, apply my personal difficulty ordering food in one country and turn that into my protagonist’s frustration at trying to make a doctor’s appointment in another country where the protagonist and I have similar communication problems.

In my latest novella, Too Many Temples, the characters are from Australia and Bali (Indonesia), two countries that I do have a lot of experience in. They are also presented with the challenges of a potential long-distance relationship between two very different cultures–something else I have also had to deal with. Yet, the events in the novella are nothing at all like my experiences. Happily so at that!

All relationships have their problems. But when you add geographical, emotional, and cultural distance into the mix, it can get even more complicated. Especially when … oh, well maybe you will just have to read it to see how the characters handle this hook-up gone right, despite the mess it creates!

 Blurb

Looking to spice up his stagnant sex life in Brisbane, self-professed player Adrian takes a week-long vacation in Bali, anticipating sun, surf, and plenty of no-strings-attached hookups. He doesn’t expect his attraction to the tour guide, Ketut, to become an obsession. As he travels around the beautiful Island of the Gods, Adrian is startled that he might be falling in love after swearing off relationships for good.

When Ketut opens a window of opportunity for a real relationship in Queensland after the vacation ends, Adrian retreats into his life of commitment-free fun. Unable to forget about Ketut, though, Adrian strikes out to the rural Queensland town of Rockhampton to find the man of his desires—hoping he hasn’t lost the chance for true love.

 Excerpt

“The sea here is both beautiful and deadly. The color of the water and the temptation to walk out at low tide to the base of the temple… but when the tide comes in and you are left stranded out there, the currents are strong and poisonous sea snakes swim here in large numbers. It’s odd that something so beautiful can also be so deadly. Many people have died here.”

“So it is better to avoid it completely.”

Ketut thought for a moment before answering. “No, Adrian. That makes it all the more important to visit. That people have died to see something so beautiful, so holy, makes this even more special. Sometimes taking a risk can lead to a life-changing experience. Or at least one that you will never forget for the rest of your life. How long will you remember this moment, Adrian? Right here, right now?”

Adrian had been staring into Ketut’s striking eyes as he spoke. There was a depth to him that Adrian admired, something that he would never know based solely on their first encounter. For a moment, Adrian wondered how many of the guys who had served as one-off fucks for him over the years also had something more than a tight ass to offer him. But the thought was short-lived.

Ketut leaned in and pressed his lips lightly against Adrian’s, pulling back slightly after a brief kiss. Adrian refused to let go. He pushed his face forward to continue what Ketut had started. He wasn’t done. The moment was too immediate to settle for anything less.

About the Author

Erik Swill is a professional editor and a cheeky storyteller. He has spent half of his life living abroad and half of that time trying to convince friends that he is not an international fugitive or secret agent. He isn’t. Really. But it probably doesn’t help that he writes under several pseudonyms, moves house frequently, and rarely posts anything on his social media accounts. He has published short fiction in Gay Flash Fiction and erotica in the Nifty Archives. With his longtime partner, Swann O’Hara, he coauthored the novella Wild Goose. Erik likes to write contemporary fiction but will try any genre once. Because why not?

Twitter: @ErikSwill

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/people/Erik-Swill/100010350225984

Cover Reveal for The Rhubarb Patch by Deanna Wadsworth

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Title: The Rhubarb Patch
Author: Deanna Wadsworth
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Release Date: July 24, 2017
City boy, sci-fi novelist, and recovering pushover Scott Howe doesn’t know what to expect when he inherits his grandmother’s house outside the quaint village of Gilead, Ohio—but it isn’t an enormous bald man in nothing but tighty-whities and orange rubber boots shouting at him to keep his weed wacker away from the rhubarb patch. 

Scott has never met anyone like Phineas Robertson: homesteader, recluse… Republican. A tender—if unlikely—friendship grows over the summer while Phin and his schnauzer, Sister Mary Katherine, teach Scott about life in the country and the grandmother he never knew. Opposites attract, but widower Phin worries his secret will send Scott running faster than his politics, and Phin isn’t convinced he deserves a second chance at romance.
Scott is convinced—rural life, and his one-of-a-kind, older neighbor, is the future he wants. Before he can settle in, his mother drops a bombshell that strains their already tenuous relationship, and a cousin who believes he is the rightful heir to the property puts Scott in danger. It’ll take a lot of compromises, and even dodging a few bullets before they’re out of the weeds, but nurturing something as special as true love always takes hard work.

 

Deanna Wadsworth might be a bestselling erotica author, but she leads a pretty vanilla life in Ohio with her wonderful husband and a couple adorable cocker spaniels. She has been spinning tales and penning stories since childhood, and her first erotic novella was published in 2010. She has served multiple board positions at her local RWA chapter and is the current President 2017 for Rainbow Romance Writers of America. When she isn’t writing books or brainstorming with friends, you can find her making people gorgeous in a beauty salon. She loves music and dancing, and can often be seen hanging out on the sandbar in the muddy Maumee River or chilling with her hubby and a cocktail in their basement bar. In between all that fun, Deanna cherishes the quiet times when she can let her wildly active imagination have the full run of her mind. Her fascination with people and the interworkings of their relationships have always inspired her to write romance with spice and love without boundaries.

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Release Day Blitz for Nate’s Last Tango by Kevin Klehr (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  Nate’s Last Tango

Series: Nate and Cameron, Book 2

Author: Kevin Klehr

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: June 26

Heat Level: 1 – No Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 30900

Genre: Contemporary, contemporary, gay, cisgender, cross-dressing, established couple, ghost, vacation

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Nate’s life couldn’t be better. He’s living with his rich boyfriend, Cameron, in New York while being wined and dined all over the city.

But when Nate decides to visit his friends back in Sydney, Cameron suggests they break it off for a while. Cam’s cross-dressing butler is not impressed, and with the help of his lesbian aunt, they drag Cameron down-under to sort out his relationship and take in the sights of Mardi Gras!

With Nate at a loss to what went wrong, he faces the dim reality that love may have run its course.

Excerpt

Nate’s Last Tango
Kevin Klehr © 2017
All Rights Reserved

“I’m nervous,” I said. But my boyfriend, Cam, didn’t hear me. Fortunately, his butler, Roger, did.

“Here you go, Nate.” The loyal servant placed a garishly green cocktail in my hand, complete with a little umbrella. “This will make you so chilled, the next few hours will feel like a hippie folk festival.”

If only that were the truth. I was about to meet Cameron’s parents for the first time, and both he and Roger were busy preparing canapés. They insisted I was as much of a guest as the others were, so I wasn’t to help with the catering.

Instead, I gazed out the window of my boyfriend’s swish New York apartment, trying to imagine what a middle-aged couple who had made their fortune in the funeral trade would be like. My first thought was something as creepy as an older Gomez and Morticia from The Addams Family.

And with that vision came a list of odd relatives I hadn’t met yet. Perhaps a short hunchback that rang church bells. An older brother who slept in the basement during the day and showed off his unusually sharp fangs to unsuspecting women at night. Or a haggard stepsister who kidnapped the neighborhood pets and offered them to pagan gods during midnight rituals.

I watched my boyfriend. He was trying to make art out of smoked salmon and flatbread, but somehow he kept adding too much mayo. The result was something that looked like a squeezed pimple rather than anything you’d put in your mouth. As always, Roger was at his side to fix his creations, and as a pair they worked well.

Through his chic designer glasses, Cam scrutinized what Rog was trying to show him, and he understood until his butler tucked, folded, or did whatever was necessary to make my boyfriend’s attempts look presentable. Although my man wasn’t perfect, that was the very reason I loved him. He’d try. And he had enough people around to support him. His parents had to be equally as supportive, surely.

Any moment they’d swan in the front door, having just flown in from Paris, where they had stayed the night because they’d decided to eat dinner in that romantic city on a whim. His mum, or mom as these Americans say, would offer me her hand adorned in a teal glove and wait for me to kiss it.

His dad would check me out, and while he shook my hand all businesslike, it wouldn’t be until later that his real nature would come out. He’d pull out a joint and tell us about his wild days; of wearing a leather jacket, having wall-to-wall lovers, and the heavy rock band he fronted with regular top-ten hits.

“Would you like another cocktail, Nate?” Roger asked.

“No, I’ve hardly—” My glass was empty.

“Your mind is preoccupied. Let me get you another.”

“No. I don’t want to be drunk before they arrive.”

“Have a cocktail,” said Cam as he ran his finger under a tap after burning it on poached chicken. “If I was in your shoes, I’d be nervous as well.”

Roger took the glass out of my hand and promptly made me another green drink. With the first sip, my mind wandered even more, back to last month.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

Kevin lives with his long-term partner, Warren, in their humble apartment (affectionately named Sabrina), in Australia’s own ‘Emerald City,’ Sydney.

From an early age, Kevin had a passion for writing, jotting down stories and plays until it came time to confront puberty. After dealing with pimple creams and facial hair, Kevin didn’t pick up a pen again until he was in his thirties. His handwritten manuscript was being committed to paper when his work commitments changed, giving him no time to write. Concerned, his partner, Warren, secretly passed the notebook to a friend who in turn came back and demanded Kevin finish his story. It wasn’t long before Kevin’s active imagination was let loose again.

His first novel spawned a secondary character named Guy, an insecure gay angel, but many readers argue that he is the star of the Actors and Angels book series. Guy’s popularity surprised the author.

So with his fictional guardian angel guiding him, Kevin hopes to bring more whimsical tales of love, life and friendship to his readers.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | YouTube | Vimeo

 

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A Month Full of Pride. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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A Month Full of Pride

 

As we count the days down towards the end of June, we’ve have a wonderful month full of Pride.  And we have one last week to go.  Last week we announced the winners of our Pride Readers Best Coming Out Stories Giveaway.  This week we put together a list of all of those recommended stories.  Please feel free to add to it by commenting or let us know if we’ve left any out.  It’s always great to have a place to lookup those stories we love to read but can’t always remember their names.  We will have a place here to start looking up Rec Lists (coming soon).  Here is our Readers Best Coming Our Stories:

Readers Recommended Best Coming Out Stories!

Knight of Ocean Avenue by Tara Lain
Ready For Love by Stella Starling
Falling Together by SK (Shelley) Grayson
#gaymers series by Annabeth Albert
Thanks a Lot, John LeClair by Johanna Parkhurst
Patient Eyes by Andy Eisenberg
Kaje Harper’s Life Lessons

Josh Lanyon’s Death of A Pirate King
John Goode’s Tales from Foster High.
Mysterious Skin by Scott Heim
The Catch Trap-Marion Zimmer Bradley
Christmas Kitsch by Amy Lane

My Summer of Wes by Missy Welsh
There’s This Guy by Rhys Ford
Superhero by Eli Easton
Bad Boyfriend by KA Mitchell.
True Colors by Anyta Sunday
American Love Songs by Ashlyn Kane
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secret of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Unexpected Guest by Andy Eisenberg.
Boy Meets Boy” by David Levithan

Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy

 

We have one last week for everyone to enter into our Father’s Day giveaway.  Give us your best stories with families and children, gay dads and their kids…

~Pride Father’s Day Celebration Giveaway – Last Week~

Give us your best suggestions for books involving LGBTQIA families or LGBT people with children stories.  I just finished last week’s wonderful Accepting The Fall by Meg Harding, with firefighter Zander Brooks learning to cope with fatherhood as the parent of a bright, frightened 5 year old.  Terrific story.  And Dragon Home by Mell Eight with William, the foster parent of two growing dragons kits (a whole different set of parenting skills required there).  But I know there are soooo many out there!  Let’s start a list!

So for Father’s Day, what books melted your heart?  That had children, maybe puppies or kittens or both?  Amy Lane’s Promises series just jumps to my mind.  What comes into yours?  Ones that break your heart and then puts them back together again.  Stories you never forget because your heart won’t let them go….

Tell me which ones you love and let’s share our favorites.  A random reader who leaves a comment or readers (you never know here) will receive a $10 gift certificate.  Dreamspinner Press or Amazon, your choice.    Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Happy Pride Month.   Giveaway ends midnight June 30th.  Winners announced July 1st.

Sad Announcement

And now for some very sad news.  Author A.C. Katt has passed away suddenly.  Kris Jacen of MLR Press announced the news on her FB page.  Many of our reviewers here, including Paul who also passed away recently, loved her stories including her Werewolves of Manhattan series.  Here is more on the author:

AC Katt was born in New York City’s Greenwich Village. She remembers sitting at the fountain in Washington Square Park listening to folk music while they passed the hat. At nine, her parents dragged her to New Jersey where she grew up, married and raised four children and became a voracious reader of romantic fiction. At one time she owned over two thousand novels.

Now, most of AC’s books are electronic (although she still keeps six bookcases of hardcovers), so she never has to give away another book. AC writes GLBT andis to writing, a late bloomer, however, she’s found her niche writing GLBT romance. She currently writes for MLR Press, JMS Books, and Decadent Publishing.

She will be missed.  Our condolences go out to her family and friends.  Her stories will always be with us.

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, June 25:

  • A Month Full of Pride.
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, June 26:

  • DSP GUEST POST Erik Swill on Too Many Temples
  • Release Day Blitz Nate’s Last Tango by Kevin Klehr
  • A Lila Review: Waiting for You (Lifesworn #1) by Megan Derr
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Slim Chance by Jeff Erno
  • An Ali Release Day Review: Model Investigator (Haven Investigations #3) by Lissa Kasey
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Coach’s Challenge (Scoring Chances #5) by Avon Gale

Tuesday, June 27:

  • Blog Tour Moro’s Price by M. Crane Hana
  • Release Day Blast Regret by Christina Lee
  • Smitty’s Sheriff (Hope Collection) by Cardeno C. /Tour
  • A Caryn Review: Misdemeanor (Responsible Adult #1) by C.F. White
  • A MelanieM Review McShayne’s Dragon (McShayne’s Bloodline Book 1) by Nicole Dennis
  • An Ali Review: Windward (Mirror #2) by Kirby Crow /Meridian (Mirror #1) by Kirby Crow
  • An Alisa Review: The Sky at Night by Wayne Mansfield

Wednesday, June 28:

  • Audiobook Review Tour for See Me (Lightning Tales #3) by K.C. Wells
  • HARMONY INK GUEST POST Haven Francis on Riding with Brighton
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: See Me (Lightning Tales #3) by K.C. Wells
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Pyresnakes by Tray Ellis
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Texting, AutoCorrect, and a Prius by M.A. Church
  • An Alisa Review:  Incubus Touch (Polar Nights Book 1) by Siryn Sueng

Thursday, June 29:

  • DSP GUEST POST Jeff Erno on Slim Chance
  • RIPTIDE TOUR & Giveaway: Oversight by Santino Hassell
  • A New Way to Dance by Sean Michael Blog Tour
  • A MelanieM Review: The Hawaiians 4: Hawaiian Ginger by Meg Amor
  • An Ali Review: His Pirate (Second Chance #2) by Stephanie Lake
  • An Alisa Review:  That Alien Feeling by Alessandra Hazard

Friday, June 30:

  • Blog Tour for  Different Dynamics by Tamir Drake
  • DSP GUEST POST Kate McMurray on What’s the Use of Wondering?
  • DSP GUEST POST Tray Ellis on Pyresnakes
  • Review Tour for RJ Scott’s Kingdom Series Vol. 2
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Something’s Brewing at Joe’s by SJD Peterson
  • A MelanieM Review: Kingdom Volume 2 (Kingdom #2) by R.J. Scott
  • A Stella Release Day Review:  ​A Destiny of Dragons (Tales From Verania) by TJ Klune

Saturday, July 1:

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Manny Get Your Guy (The Mannies #2) by Amy Lane

 

 

 

A MelanieM Review: Scrap (The Bristol Collection #3) by Josephine Myles

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

In a battle of the alpha males, who will end up on top?

On the surface, Derek “Call me Dare” Nelson’s life is simple. He’s happy doing up campervans while living in a slightly illegal caravan in his riverfront yard. But life gets more complicated when a smooth-talking, handsome property developer offers to buy the land out from under his feet—the very same man Dare had to escort from a party nine months ago for causing a drunken scene.

Grant Matravers is living a double life, attempting to adjust to weekends as a single, soon-to-be-divorced gay man while staying in the closet during the week. The strain of keeping up appearances at work while missing his kids is bad enough, but add in an attraction to the shaven-headed, tattooed, totally unsuitable Dare and Grant finds his emotional barriers wearing dangerously thin.

Dare blasts through those barriers in a way Grant isn’t prepared for, challenging everything he thought he knew about himself as a gay man. But as their chemistry heats up and the intimacy between them grows, Grant edges towards a decision that could blow up in his face. Exposing a mess of complications that could destroy any chance for their happily ever after.

Product Warnings: Contains one sharp-suited man desperately in need of redemption, another whose thuggish exterior does a pretty good job of hiding his heart of gold, frotting in camper vans, a sensual head-shaving scene and several (noisy) guest appearances from Mas.

Of the three stories, Junk, Stuff, and Scrap of The Bristol Collection, I have to admit Scrap is teetering on my favorite here, primarily due to the character of Derek “Call me Dare” Nelson.  The reader first meets Dare in Stuff when he visits his favorite antique shop Cabbages and Kinks owned by Perry and run by Mas, the couple from that story.  Dare pops up throughout the novel, most importantly at the end where he meets and throws a drunken Grant out of Perry and Mas’ party.

Scrap, the title of the story, seems to come from the yard filled full of scrap metal that Dare uses to refurbish his vans.  Campers to us Americans.  Old VW’s and such, retrofitted with sparkling new counters and curtains, engines and more, ready to take on a new life and new family.  Its a job and life Dare loves, living on the land his family owned, working with his hands using skills his father taught him.   That Dare looked like a “tattooed, skin-headed thug” on the outside?  Well, never hurts when you’re gay and someone thinks  you’re deserving of a beating. Dare Nelson is that character that once you start peeling back the layers, you just love him more and more.  What’s one man’s scrap is another one’s treasure and while Dare may appear to be a human sort of scrap, he shines more than most.

Grant Matravers, well, he was the character that was going to be so hard to like here. Grant was the reverse Dare in a way.  Shiny on the outside but hollow in the inside where it counts. He was ugly, a downright cheating mess of a man in Stuff.  I really couldn’t understand how Myles was going to make him someone we would not only connect with but root for but redeem him she did.  Grant has so many things to work through, apologies to make, decisions to come to, hard choices to make.  While Dare knows who he is and has a solid foundation, Grant is only solid to the eyes but his core?  Needs rebuilding and each moment is pivotal for his character and those he loves.  This also includes his children and his ex-wife.

Josephine Myles always gets me with her well-rounded characters.  They have depth and a humanity that defines them beyond the normal quirkiness and flaws.  You fear for them, you love and take them to heart just as I did here and all the other stories.

The Bristol Collection is a total joy to read.  Each and every couple with their issues and romances to work through before they can get their  HEA is a story that will stay with you.  Scrap has me smiling even now as I remember why I wanted more at the end even as I thought is was great as it was.  Sigh.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book Details:
ebook, 258 pages
Published March 10th 2015 by Samhain Publishing
Original TitleScrap
ISBN 1619224925 (ISBN13: 9781619224926)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesThe Bristol Collection #3

Release Blitz and Giveaway for ‘Scrap (The Bristol Collection #3)’ by Josephine Myles

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 80,000 words
 
 
Blurb
 

In a battle of the alpha males, who will end up on top?

On the surface, Derek “Call me Dare” Nelson’s life is simple. He’s happy doing up campervans while living in a slightly illegal caravan in his riverfront yard. But life gets more complicated when a smooth-talking, handsome property developer offers to buy the land out from under his feet—the very same man Dare had to escort from a party nine months ago for causing a drunken scene.

Grant Matravers is living a double life, attempting to adjust to weekends as a single, soon-to-be-divorced gay man while staying in the closet during the week. The strain of keeping up appearances at work while missing his kids is bad enough, but add in an attraction to the shaven-headed, tattooed, totally unsuitable Dare and Grant finds his emotional barriers wearing dangerously thin.

Dare blasts through those barriers in a way Grant isn’t prepared for, challenging everything he thought he knew about himself as a gay man. But as their chemistry heats up and the intimacy between them grows, Grant edges towards a decision that could blow up in his face. Exposing a mess of complications that could destroy any chance for their happily ever after.

Product Warnings: Contains one sharp-suited man desperately in need of redemption, another whose thuggish exterior does a pretty good job of hiding his heart of gold, frotting in camper vans, a sensual head-shaving scene and several (noisy) guest appearances from Mas.

Author Bio


English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. Jo blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. She’s beginning to suspect he enjoys it.


Jo’s novel Stuff won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Bisexual Romance, and her novella Merry Gentlemen won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Gay Romantic Comedy. She loves to be busy, and is currently having fun trying to work out how she is going to fit in her love of writing, dressmaking and attending cabaret shows in fabulous clothing around the demands of a preteen with special needs and an incessantly curious toddler.


Website and blog: josephinemyles.com/
Facebook: facebook.com/josephine.myles.author
Twitter: @JosephineMyles
Newsletter: eepurl.com/hrQ4s

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A MelanieM Review: Kingdom Volume 1 (Kingdom #1) by R.J. Scott

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

The Vampire Contract

A vampire guilty of murder on the run from justice to prove his innocence. A werewolf sent to retrieve him with one thought – that only the guilty run.

The Guilty Werewolf

Declan Finlay is hunting the guilty werewolf, his friend Connor. The incubus, Levi Tiernan, is his companion on the hunt. If Declan doesn’t track and kill Connor, then Levi will.

The Warlock’s Secret

In a world where magic is rare, Joseph Jamieson is a holder of power. Orophin Tiwele, or Phin to his friends, is the son of the Elf King and has magic of his own. The rules say two supernatural beings with magic cannot be together and Joseph and Phin have lived by that rule despite their attraction to each other.

Let me take the stories of RJ Scott’s Kingdom series Vol 1  one by one.  These tales, the first three in the series, build on each other, each picking up where the other left off.  None should be considered standalone stories because you need all the previous information and character foundation laid out to get the gist of the impact of the search and the issues with the Glitnir Court here.

None of these stories are of great length yet Scott manages to build wonderful  characters and interesting relationship dynamics between them all.  Brother to brother, brother to potential lovers/mates.  There’s frenemies to lovers, second chance at love stories…so many favorite tropes the author visited here within this volume that’s easy to read,  easy to please, and hard to put down.

♦︎The Vampire Contract – 4 stars

A vampire guilty of murder on the run from justice to prove his innocence. A werewolf sent to retrieve him with one thought – that only the guilty run.

Vampire Micah Jamieson is found guilty of killing his human husband. He runs from the execution he is facing to get home. He just has to pray he’ll reach home before supernatural law enforcement, in the shape of a Glitnir Court Retriever close in on him.

Wolf shifter and Retriever, Connor Strand easily captures Micah and he’s fully prepared to take the runaway in. But his wolf has other ideas.

Something about Micah challenges Connor and his long held beliefs. What if Micah is actually innocent? Will Connor put to one side his own prejudices, and then risk both his life and career to keep Micah safe?

I loved the Micah and Connor story.  Micah had the most interesting element here because of all of the surprises he had in store for the reader.  They just kept coming.  Poor Connor, his inner wolf had no issues knowing where he stood which made the relationship aspect delectable if a little predictable.  I found this to be Micah’s story all the way, which was fine as he will have a powerful role down the line.  This story started laying down the universe and the issues within it.  Loved it.

♦︎The Guilty Werewolf – 5 stars out of 5

Declan Finlay is the best Retriever that Glitnir has.

Well, he is now that Connor Strand has gone rogue.

He is sent to find Connor – the guilty werewolf. But he doubts that his best friend could ever be guilty and he resolves to track him down and find out why he ran with the renegade vampire.

When the Fae Alliance, reporting to Glitnir, demand that he not go alone he is forced to accept the Incubus, Levi Tiernan, an assassin, as his companion on the journey. If Declan doesn’t kill Connor, then Levi will.

What happens when old lust and love dictate action and suddenly Declan is questioning everything he loves.

The Guilty Werewolf is amazing and it rests on the shoulders of 2 great characters.  I can’t help it.  My favorite?  That incubus, Levi Tiernan, the assassin, who undergoes an amazing evolution here, one he expects in a way.  The other is Declan Finlay, an already troubled Retriever, pursuing an old friend under  circumstances he can’t or won’t believe.  Nothing here is as it seems and the characters and their painful path to romance shine under this layered, twisted narrative approach by RJ Scott

♦︎The Warlock’s Secret 4,75 stars out of 5

In a world where magic is rare, Joseph Jamieson is one of the most powerful holders of power. Orophin Tiwele, or Phin to his friends, is the son of the Elf King and has magic of his own. The rules say two supernatural beings with magic cannot be together and Joseph and Phin have lived by that rule despite their attraction to each other.

The resistance is growing larger each day, but traitors threaten everything Joseph has built. He wants peace, but soon comes to realize the way to peace, is through war.

When the only thing that will save lives is Joseph and Phin working together, it becomes impossible to see where magic and passion end and where love could begin.

The Warlock’s Secret is a story that could have easily doubled in size for all the author  set out to accomplish here.  It’s a huge tale bringing in all the couples from the three stories but the focus is on Joseph and Phin as well as the growing resistance movement to Glitnir.  Secrets are revealed, rescues are undertaken, more horrors are uncovered…it’s one giant thing after another.  And it works to lay down more groundwork for the next three stories coming and the revolution that’s in the air.  The only reason it didn’t get 5 stars is that when you are trying to cover so much narrative ground in so few pages, there are bound to be some holes, are there are some I found here.  I wanted more background on a big character I cannot name (would be a spoiler) and a certain book.  Hopefully that’s coming.

Joseph and Phin?  A lack of communication did them in early on and it almost does again.    Wanted to shake them both, good thing as characters they are magic together, literally.  I also can’t wait to see more of them in the stories in the future.  Should be one wild ride.

What’s better than having three books?  Three books in one volume so you can easily blow through all three in one read as I did. It made for sorting out all the relationships and ties and family dynamics easy.  Loved it and loved these stories.  Now I’m on to Vol. 2.  I’ll let you know what I find.  In the meantime, I highly recommend all three stories in one volume.  Werewolves shifters, vampires, Fae, incubus Oh My!

Cover art by Meredith Russell does a nice job with the characters.

Sales Links:Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:

ebook, 296 pages
Published June 14th 2017 by Love Lane Books Limited
ISBN139781785640643
Edition LanguageEnglish
URLhttp://www.rjscott.co.uk
SeriesKingdom #1