A MelanieM Review: The Last Wolf (Sapphire Ranch Wolves #1) by Sue Brown

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The Last Wolf 400x600Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Professor Joseph Lowther Jr. returned home to the Sapphire Ranch when his father became gravely ill. His dad is now hospitalized and its up to Joe Jr. to run the ranch he left years ago.

When Joe hears a commotion out near the barn, he shoots a wolf he thinks is attacking their sheep.  But to his astonishment the wounded wolf turns into a young man, a wolf shifter in need of help and refuge.

Callum Pope just might be the last of his pack.  On the run from hunters who specialize in hunting, killing, and the destruction of all shifter wolf packs, he was on the run until he landed on the Sapphire Ranch and was shot.  That may have been the best thing to ever happen to Callum.  Joe offers him safety, friendship, and perhaps even sanctuary from those hunting him.

For Joe, his view of the universe has been shattered.  But in its place just might be something he never expected….a strong connection to Callum Pope, a bond that grows deeper by the day.  Now all Joe has to do is keep Callum alive long enough to figure out what it all means to himself and to Callum.

When a story manages to combine author Sue Brown and wolf shifters, I know I am in for a treat.  That the story is the first in a new series just makes this all the sweeter.  The Last Wolf by Sue Brown sets the stage for the series and the stories to come.  In that respect,  it tended to try to do too much in this first novel.  But the sweetness of Callum, the likability of Joe Lowther and his father, and  the undeniable terror of hunters bent on exterminating an entire race combine to make this story one to read.

I loved the premise of the series.  Its heartrending in its small details, and shocking in scope.  Hunters out to exterminate an entire race of beings on a world wide scale. That the hunters target all ages and genders, from babies to the infirm just intensifies our fear and horror.  They are killing machines who seem unstoppable.  When you put that type of villain up against a vulnerable young main character who has already lost so much, then your empathy is easily engaged and your connection to this shifter and Joe snaps into place.

The relationships make this story shine.  From the father/son bond between Joe Jr. and Joe Sr., this is a family you adore immediately.  Then there is the growing bond between Joe Jr. and Callum, which is swift but understandable given the circumstances.  I loved that one too.  As the story continues, more people and different types of bonds and deep relationships come into play.  Brown is also setting up some of the potential couples for the stories to come.  One is particular has me “growling” in anticipation.  The author has always been able to make her people and their relationships believable (even if one is a supernatural being), and she continues that  here.

There are some shaky moments in the narrative where the author clearly is trying to get in all the elements she needs for the rest of the series, even if they are only hints and glimpses of things to come.  So at times it can feel rushed or scattered.  But the story and characters are strong enough to pull you into their journey to safety, sanctuary, and love.

What makes a pack?  I think Sue Brown is delivering that answer in her Sapphire Ranch series.  It has a wonderful concept, terrific characters, evil hunters, and the type of elements that  will keep the reader returning to see what the author has in store for us next.  While the ending is not exactly a cliffhanger, Sue Brown leaves us with enough questions that the next installment will be eagerly awaited.   What is in store for the Lowthers, Callum Pope and the Sapphire Ranch?  I have no idea but  can’t wait to find out.

If you love shifters, add this to your TBR list today.  If you adore Sue Brown, this story and series are probably already there.  Now the anticipation begins for the next story.  I will be waiting to see where Sue Brown takes her characters next.  I hope you will be along for that journey!

Cover art by Meredith Russell.  Love that cover.  Great job.

Sales Links:   Love Lane Press          All Romance eBooks (ARe)     Amazon     The Last Wolf

Book Details:

162 pages
Published September 5th 2014 by Love Lane Books Limited (first published September 4th 2014)
edition languageEnglish
seriesSapphire Ranch Wolves #1

In the STRW Spotlight: Rob Rosen’s Men of the Manor Tour (contest)

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Focusing In On:  Rob Rosen and the Men of the Manor Anthology

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Rob Rosen here today to talk about the Men of the Manor Anthology, and sit down for another great author interview.  Rob has brought along a great contest to enter.  

Contest: a pdf format copy of Men of the Manor. Leave a Comment below with your favorite historical era or book, make sure it has an email address where you can be reached. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Contest ends 9/21.

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Men of the Manor Anthology

Edited by Rob Rosen

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The country estate, masters and servants, mystery and intrigue,
sex and money. All go hand in hand in these turn-of-the-century
tales of what goes on behind the manor’s closed doors. Does the
master lure the butler to the phonograph room for a romp
behind the sofa, or does the stable boy have a tryst with the
footman while the lord longingly watches on? Does the aristocrat
drop his foppish manners when the butler helps him undress?
And do the classes exchange more than pleasantries when the
lamps are dimmed and the ladies retire for the evening?

Rob Rosen has gathered the hottest stories of romance and sex
between wealthy aristocrats and the hard-working estate staff,
all with a pre–World War I backdrop, including the fashion and
art and the latest inventions of the day. War is years way, the
estates are huge and sprawling, the fashionably elite have too
much time on their hands, while the toiling underclass are always
on the lookout for a means to a brighter future — no matter
whose bed they end up in. Think Downton Abbey and Upstairs,
Downstairs, but with enough sex to make the town vicar blush.

Men of the Manor: Erotic Encounters between Upstairs Lords and Downstairs Lads
by Rob Rosen

Buy Link ebooks:    All Romance eBooks  Amazon      Men of the Manor Anthology

It is also in paperback.

 My Interview with Rob Rosen on all things Men of the Manor….

STRW:  Pre WWI era, why that setting?

Rob Rosen: It was during this time that manors, and hence servants, were commonplace. After WWI, and as a result of it, this way of life quickly began to vanish. Since the collection is about masters and servants, the timeframe I picked seemed to make the most sense. Plus, it offers a glimpse into an era that’s both intriguing and so vastly out of sync with our own.

STRW:  You seem to have all the genres covered: Mystery, Romance, History…a kind of Downton Abby for Lords and Lads. I love the idea for this collection. How did that all come about?

Rob Rosen:  Well, you already hit the nail on the head. Downton Abby is still a huge hit, and so a collection like the one I’ve put together seemed ripe for the picking. Cleis Press readily agreed with me, and, voila, Men of the Manor was born. Plus, I’ve always been a fan of stories about the haves and the have-nots, and the struggle between the two classes that results.

STRW:  Historical fiction is one of the hardest genres in my opinion to write. So many things have to be accurate for the time frame, including dialog and laws. How did that play into the authors chosen to write the stories or did it?

Rob Rosen:  Those things were actually secondary in my decision process. I simply chose the best stories, the hottest ones, but the ones that were highly literary as well. Still, you’re correct; the dialog did have to ring true, as did the social mores of the time, the dress, the way a manor is run. Fortunately, the authors in this anthology are all superior writers and were all adept at keeping with the theme.

 STRW:  Saucy lads and naughty lords…just the thought makes me gleeful. Any particular Lord come to mind when this subject matter popped up? Lord Darcy? Lord Byron, for example?

Rob Rosen:  Not really, no. In fact, the lords and masters in the collection are all strikingly different from one another. Some are caring and some cruel, some seeking the sex out, some chancing upon it. Yet all are well-aware of their power over their servants, and all the servants, in turn, are aware of their places in the house, which is what makes the inevitable sex that much more illicit, steamier, sexier.

STRW:  Do you see this as a one time collection or something that could be repeated with additional authors?

Rob Rosen:  I’d love a sequel! But, hey, only time will tell. Fingers crossed that Men of the Manor will be a big enough hit to merit one.

STRW:  I think I may have asked you this before but what do you find sexy?

Rob Rosen:  Literarily speaking, I find unexpected encounters sexy, when the characters find themselves in situations they never saw coming. Men of the Manor is chock full of just such unexpected encounters, of masters of the house suddenly finding themselves, sexually speaking, with the help and vice-versa, and then having to deal with the ramifications. These kinds of scenarios make for great plot twists as well.

STRW:  If this collection runs the gamut of the social structure of the time, does it do the same fiction wise? From serious angst to lighthearted comedy?

Rob Rosen: For sure! In fact, I wouldn’t have it any other way. A well devised anthology gives the reader the full spectrum of human emotion. So while some of the stories are deep and/or brooding, several are also lighthearted, romantic, sweet. And a couple are downright whimsical in nature.

STRW:  I won’t ask favorites, that’s not fair. But do you have a favorite historical novel or movie that you love to watch over and over again?

Rob Rosen: Hands down, Tea with Mussolini. But who doesn’t love a movie starring Cher and Judi Dench? In terms of novels, I’m a huge fan of Gore Vidal. I’ve read all of his historical novels: the Narratives of Empire series. I even got to meet the man and shake his hand!

STRW:   What’s up next for Rob Rosen?

Rob Rosen: There’s, thankfully, lots coming up. My next anthology, the renowned Best Gay Erotica 2015, will be out in December, followed by Warlords and Warriors early next year. And in February, my eighth novel, Creature Comfort, will be released.

If you want to keep up with all this and much more, please visit me at www.therobrosen.com or on his Goodreads author page.

Author Bio:

Rob Rosen is the author of the critically acclaimed novels, “Sparkle: The Queerest Book You’ll Ever Love”, the Lambda Literary Award Nominated “Divas Las Vegas”, which was the winner of the 2010 TLA Gaybies for Best Gay Fiction, “Hot Lava”, “Southern Fried”, the Lambda Literary Award Nominated “Queerwolf”, “Vamp”, and “Queens of the Apocalypse”. His short stories have appeared in more than 200 anthologies. You can find 20 of them in his erotic romance anthology, “Good & Hot”. He is also the editor of “Lust in Time: Erotic Romance Through the Ages” and “Men of the Manor: Erotic Encounters between Upstairs Lords and Downstairs Lads”. Please visit him at his website.

Book Blast: On Tour with Amelia Bishop’s Water Witch (contest)

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Contest:  3 Winners chosen to receive a eBook copy of Water Witch.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Please use the Rafflecopter link provided below for the entry form and additional contest details.

Book Name: Water Witch
Author Name: Amelia Bishop
Author Bio:

I am a reader and writer of romantic erotic fiction of all varieties. Sometimes, the little stories in my head just need to be shared (and sometimes they are just for me). I enjoy red wine, black rum, shell-hunting walks along the seashore, and solo late-night drunken dance parties.

Author Contact:

possiblewwTitle: Water Witch by Amelia Bishop
Cover Artist: Cover photo by Dan Skinner
Publisher: Self-published

Buy Links:  Amazon

Blurb:

Vincenzo is a witch with a short fuse, a sexy smile, and dirty mouth.

Life demands little from Vincenzo. Treasured by his mother and grandmother, protected by his coven, and blessed with precognitive skills, he grew up happy and carefree in his snug home by the bay.

Then a sexy Fae walks into his house to steal his beloved heirlooms, and into his dreams to steal his heart. Meanwhile, haunting visions of an unknown disaster on the horizon shake his secure world and force him to take responsibility for the first time in his life.

Now he must master his witchcraft, temper his impulsiveness, and listen to his heart.

Excerpt:

“Salil?” I called again. Maybe I would kiss him? And if he let his guard down, maybe he’d tell me how to release my family’s ritual tools from the bottom of the bay.

“I can’t tell you that until it is time.”

“Shit!” I splashed around, my heart pounding, searching for him. When I located his face bobbing above the waves he was wearing a delighted grin, his fingertips brushing the water in front of him in long fluid motions, keeping him afloat. “Damn it! Do you get off on giving people heart attacks?”

“Your heart is in perfect working order, trust me.” His smile widened and a small laugh surrounded his words.

“Well, thanks for the stress test. Next time you could make a little noise or something, though.”

“I enjoy surprising you. You use such colorful language when you are startled.”

“Glad you find me entertaining.” I was suddenly too hot, my face and chest flushed. “Are you a mind reader now? Eavesdropping on my thoughts?”

“When you talk to yourself so clearly in your head, and if I am near you, I can sometimes hear.” He tilted his head to the side. “It is not the same as eavesdropping, really.”

“Yeah, it kind of is.” It was also something my grandfather could do, though he’d hidden it from everyone but the family. It was a skill most useful when kept secret. So why did Salil just tell me he had it?

He shrugged and swam closer, his eyes hot with desire.

BadgeWaterWitchTour Dates/Stops:
9/8: MM Good Book Reviews
9/9: Book Reviews, Rants, and Raves
9/10: Cate Ashwood
9/11: Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings
9/12: Love Bytes
9/15: Velvet Panic, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
9/16: EE Montgomery
9/17: Amanda C. Stone
9/18: Prism Book Alliance
9/19: The Hat Party

Rafflecopter Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rafflecopter Prize: 3 e-copies of ‘Water Witch’. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter

Feel Lucky? Check in with Moriah Gemel’s “Load the Dice” VBT (Contest)

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Moriah Gemel has stopped by on her VBT for Load the Dice.  She’s answering some questions, brought along an excerpt and even a contest to enter.

 Contest: Moriah will be awarding a free download of an Interlude Press eBook title or an author/book swag pack (US ONLY) to TEN randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour as well as a Grand Prize of a $25 B&N gift card to a randomly drawn winner. A $25 B&N gift card and print edition (to be released at conclusion of the series in January) of Load the Dice will be awarded to a randomly drawn host.  Use this Rafflecopter link to enter and for additional contest details.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

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My Interview with Moriah Gemel on Writing, Favorite Books, and Inspiration

 STRW:  What was your inspiration for the story?

Moriah Gemel:  A friend and I were discussing what it would be like to meet someone through a game, to start a romance that way. I write a great deal of BDSM romance, and I thought, what better way to play a game? A BDSM scene can be much like a game—there are rules, and a set progression through agreed-upon activities, but all in the name of fun, and everybody wins–so what kind of game could two people meet through? And so Load the Dice was born.

STRW:  Do you have a muse?

Moriah Gemel:  Not that I think of as personified, no. I like to think of my inspiration as energy—some days I have plenty of it, and it just flows out through my fingers. But other days it’s stuck, and needs some jolting to get out, and that’s when I seek inspiration from other sources.

Do you work on one project at a time or many?

Moriah Gemel: I try to work on one thing at a time, but inevitably I forget that I’m supposed to be doing that and take on something else.

Hero or Antihero? Who would you chose and why?

Moriah Gemel:  I think it depends on the story. Characters are just people, and every person is different and does things their own way. And so both have their own merit depending on which character you’re throwing into which situation. For Load the Dice, I needed Eric to be a hero, of a sort—he needed to be honest and open and good, as much as he could be. Another character could easily have become an antihero though.

People say write what you know. Do you think that is right or is that even important?

Moriah Gemel:  I like to say, “Write everything.” That includes what you know, what you don’t know, what exists, what doesn’t exist. Why limit yourself when there really are no bounds?

What is the first book you read that really meant something to you?

Moriah Gemel:  When I was six years old, my grandfather handed me Watership Down by Richard Adams. And so I read it, and understood so very little. I wasn’t mature enough. But his advice was to keep reading until I got it, and so I did—I read it over and over and over, and I still read it from time to time. There’s always something new to discover.

What do you find sexy in a man?

Moriah Gemel:  I love a good pair of arms on a guy. I like them strong and thick, hard enough to hold me tight and hold me up. That and respect—nothing hotter than a guy who treats me like a person, you know?

What’s next up for you?

Moriah Gemel:  I’ve just outlined my second novel! I’m excited about it, it’s completely different and a new challenge for me.

Thank you, Moriah, for sitting in our author’s chair and giving us some insight into your books, inspiration and writing.  Now let’s take a closer look at Moriah Gemel’s book Load the Dice.

Cover_LoadTheDiceLoad the Dice (Episode One)
by Moriah Gemel
Publisher:  Interlude Press
Sales Link:  Load the Dice at Interlude Press

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Load the Dice Blurb:

Eric left the BDSM scene years ago because he couldn’t find the right partner, opting instead to meet men in quiet coffee shops and piano bars. But when his friend invites him to a posh hook-up party, he meets first time sub Jamie, who he convinces to detail his sexual fantasies during a passionate night together.

The pair soon embark on a relationship that introduces Jamie to the BDSM scene, and plays out his fantasies one by one. But as they approach the final fantasy, will Eric be able to walk away?

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Load the Dice Excerpt

He crawls onto the bed and straddles Jamie’s thighs, his clothed body barely touching Jamie’s, and Jamie whimpers. “Are you still wearing all your clothes?” he asks breathlessly, and Eric leans down and kisses the top of his spine, letting him feel the fabric of his clothes over his bare body.

“Yes, I am,” Eric says, and Jamie rocks down into the bed.

“Oh god, that’s so hot.”

Eric chuckles, and then sits back up, making sure to keep as little contact as he can.

“I want you to tell me about your fantasies,” Eric says. “For every fantasy you tell me, I will explore one part of your body with my mouth and hands. The more details you give, the more I will pay attention to the spot I’m on.” This gives Jamie just a little bit of control, and lets Eric know the kinds of touches he likes best. Jamie can decide if he wants to keep Eric somewhere or move on—it’ll keep him on his toes, and Eric has one more trick up his sleeve to ensure it.

“But if you stop talking,” he adds, “and you don’t move on to the next fantasy, or tell me more about the one you’re on, you will be punished. Is that understood?”

Jamie whimpers again, nodding.

“I need an answer, Jamie.”

“Yes, sir.”

Eric kisses the top of his spine again. “Good boy. Number the fantasies as you go. You may begin.”

 

Eric smiles. It’s a start.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:AuthorPic

Moriah Gemel has developed a dedicated following for her realistic, sexually-charged stories over twelve years in online fan communities. Passionate about a realistic depiction of BDSM, her goal is to both entertain and educate readers about the BDSM community.

Load the Dice originated as a short work of fan fiction, written in three parts. For her first work of professional fiction, she has turned it into a serialized novel in ten parts.

She is married and has a young son.

Connect with the author at:

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a Rafflecopter giveaway – see contest details and prizes listed at the beginning of this post.