Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Best of 2015

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 From Books, Audiobooks to Book Covers

Its

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Best of 2015

Happy New Year! Looking back over 2015 I’m  amazed at all the changes here and marvelous tales that came to our door. I’m thinking about the new reviewers we’ve added,  all the wonderful books we’ve read, new authors we’ve discovered, and the way Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words has grown in this past year.  Along with new reviewers, came new columns like Paul’s Paranormal Portfolio (his New Year’s edition is posted today), our Author Discovery along with all our author interviews and guest posts.

As the market for audiobooks has increased so has our reviews.  Even a audiobook virgin like myself jumped into the format and found that I enjoyed it immensely. What a surprise…for me!

I hope 2016 brings a new look to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words, a few new reviewers to help us read more, listen to, review more about the thing we love…books! I hope we find more new authors to discover, and more ways in which to write about them and the writing process.

But before we move forward, we’re going to look back at the books and covers we loved best.  So here are some of our favorites. Free Dreamer is traveling, and Paul was working on his Paranormal Portfolio but some of the rest of us had our lists ready. Are some of yours among them?  Which ones do you think we left out?  And are there new discoveries among those we love so much? Check out our Best Books and Covers of 2015 below…

 

 

From BJ:

✪Favorite Books Read in 2015:

Captive Prince One and Two by C.S. Pascat
The entire Straight Boys series by Alessandra Hazard
The entire Guardians of the Pattern series by Jaye McKenna
For Real by Alexis Hall
Control by Cordelia Kingsbridge
Give an Inch by K.D. Sarge (because it was so cute AND it was written from my prompt)

✪ Best Audiobook of 2015:

Into Deep Waters by Kaje Harper, Narrated by Kaleo Griffith

✪Favorite Covers of 2015

Ghost in the Mythe coverFor Real coverSong of the NavigatorBurn The Sky cover

Ghost in the Mythe by Jaye McKenna, artist Chinchbug
For Real by Alexis Hall
Song of the Navigator by Astrid Amara
Burn the Sky by Jaye McKenna, artist Chinchbug
Leythe Blade by Jaye McKenna, artist Chinchbug
Something Like A Love Song by Becca Burton
In Discretion (Ylendrian Empire, #3) by Reesa Herberth
Neskaya (Bittersweet Dreams) by Augusta Li

Leythe BladeSomething Like A Love SongInDiscretion_500x750Neskaya

I really admire original covers that are drawn or created specifically to represent that book so much more than those that just use stock photography…so here are some I love.

 

 

From Stella:

 

✪BEST BOOKS

Beneath the Stain by Amy Lane
Sacrati by Kate Sherwood
✪BEST COVERS
Sand and Gold and RuinThe Fifth Son coverCabin NightsACID coverStormBeforeTheCalm[The]FS
Sand and Ruin and Gold by Alexis Hall
The Fifth Son by Blaine D Arden
Cabin Nights by Ashley John
ACID by Wulf Francu Godgluck and S. van Rooyen
The Storm before the Calm by Cate Ashwood
✪BEST AUTHOR DISCOVERIES
Family of Lies Sebastian by Sam Argent
Go On Your Own Way by Zane Riley
The Rules of Ever After by Killian B Brewer
The Union of Sun and Moon by Gus Li
The Last Yeti by Tully Vincent
In the Middle of Somewhere by Roan Parrish

                                                                                        From Ali

✪ Best books:  These are my top 5 plus

The Subs Club by JA Rock
Darker Space by Lisa Henry
Trust the Focus by Megan Erickson
Kick at the Darkness by Keira Andrews
Sutphin Boulevard by Santino Hassell
Lonely Hearts by Heidi Cullinan
Crash & Burn by Abigail Roux
A Seditious Affair by KJ Charles

  ✪Best Short Stories:

Fawn by Nash Summers  **this was probably my favorite thing I read this year in this genre
One Perfect Night by Lisa Henry
Lima Oscar Victor Echo & the Truth About Everything by Suki Fleet
Ten Simple Steps for Surviving the Apocalypse by Cari Z
Waiting for Clark by Annabeth Albert

 ✪ Best Covers:

 Sutphin Boulevard coverIn the Middle of Somewhere coverFawn coverStygian
Stygian by Santino Hassell
Fawn by Nash Summers
Sutphin Boulevard by Santino Hassell
Level Hands by Amy Jo Cousins
Level Hands
In the Middle of Somewhere by Roan Parrish

From Mika

✪My Favorite Books of 2015

. Sunset Park by Santino Hassell & How To Be A Normal Person by T.J. Klune. They are tied for me. I loved these books. (

Rest in any order
Conscious Decisions of the Heart by John Wiltshire
Carry the Ocean by Heidi Cullinan
Trust the Focus by Megan Erickson
Breakaway by Avon Gale
Fish Stick Fridays by Rhys Ford
Kick at the Darkness by Keira Andrews
Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy
Definitely Maybe, Yours by Lissa Reed
The Subs Club by J.A. Rock
Restless Spirits by Jordan L. Hawk
Down & Dirty by Rhys Ford

✪Best Covers:

Conscious Decisions of the Heart civCarry the OceanTrust the Focus

Carry the Ocean by Heidi Cullinan
Conscious Decisions of the Heart by John Wiltshire
Trust the Focus by Megan Erickson

From Sammy:

✪Best Books of 2015:

– Unwrapping Hank by Eli Easton
– Dirty Dining by E.M. Lynley
– The Wrong Man & The Right Time by Lane Hayes
– The Shearing Gun by Renae Kaye
– Slasherazzi by Daniel A. Kaine
– Where There’s Smoke & Where There’s Fire by Cari Z
– The World in His Eyes by A.J. Thomas
– The Ultimate Team by Tricia Owens
– The Biggest Scoop by Gillian St. Kevern (A YA pick!)
And an upcoming release in 2016 that I had the pleasure of beta reading:
– Thorns & Fangs by Gillian St. Kevern

From Melanie

For me there  were so many. You really had to look no further than our best book of the month to see that.  Its especially hard in a year where favorite  series came to a finish.  Those were so tough on the heart.  But so were so many others. I laughed with these characters and boy, did I cry.  Sometimes, I did both at the same time.  Looking at you Renae Kaye and John Inman!
Alex Beecroft and Alexis Hall almost deserve their own section.  Beecroft’s Trowchester Blues was a trilogy so marvelous it was illuminating.  And Alexis Hall?  His words flow with a lyricism and magic  that make reading his stories a privilege.
John Wiltshire’s excellent series More Heat Than The Sun starts off with one of my favorite books of 2015, Conscious Decisions of the Heart (also Best Cover).  Heidi Cullinan’s Minnesota Christmas trilogy which ends with my favorite story of them all, Eden Winter’s Diversion series (be still my heart) got a new installment that I’ve read several times, see?  I can  go on and on.  And I haven’t even talked about Astrid Amara who is on several of the other reviewers lists!

✪Best Books

The Shearing Gun by Renae Kaye
Waiting for the Flood by Alexis Hall
Sand and Ruin and Gold by Alexis Hall
Conscious Decisions of the Heart by John Wiltshire
Holding Out for a Fairy Tale (Least Likely Partnership #2) by A.J. Thomas
My Magical Palace by Kunal Mukherjee
Blue Eyed Stranger (Trowchester Blues #2) by Alex Beecroft
Trowchester Blues (Trowchester Blues, #1) by Alex Beecroft
Blue Steel Chain (Trowchester Blues, #3) by Alex Beecroft
Blowing Off Steam by Joy Lynn Fielding
Redemption (Diversion #5) by Eden Winters
Tigers on the Run (Tigers and Devils #3) by Sean Kennedy
A Solitary Man by Shira Anthony and Aisling Mancy
Where the Grass is Greener (Seeds of Tyrone #2) by Debbie McGowan and Raine O’Tierney
Winter Wonderland (Minnesota Christmas #3) by Heidi Cullinan *loved them all
******************************
(Humor & Pathos Division)
Shawn’s Law by Renae Kaye
Coming Back by John Inman
You Are The Reason by Renae Kaye
 ***********************
Four of Club series by Parker Williams (Pulp Friction 2015)
Jack of Spades series by Lee Brazil
King of Hearts series by Havan Fellows
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Best Audiobook

Best Covers:

Theory Unproven 400x600Blowing Off Steam coverConscious Decisions of the Heart civWaiting for the Flood cover

 

 

 

 

 

Theory Unproven by Lillian Francis, artist Meredith Russell
Conscious Decisions of the Heart by John Wiltshire
Waiting for the Flood by Alexis Hall, artist Simone
Blowing Off Steam by Joy Lynn Fielding

 

Sand and Gold and RuinSnowman coverForging the future coverRunning with the Wind cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shawn's Law coverChasing the Swallows coverSomething Like A Love SongFirst Comes Marriage

 

 

 

 

 

Shawn’s Law by Renae Kay, Paul Richmond artist
Something Like A Love Song by Becca Burton, unknown artist
Chasing the Swallows by John Inman, artist Maria Fanning
First Comes Marriage by Shira Anthony, artist Paul Richmond

The Sub Club by J.A. Rock, artist Kanaxa
My Magical Palace by Kunal Mukherjee, artist unknown
Winter Oranges by Marie Sexton, artist L.C. Chase
Trowchester Blues trilogy by Alex Beecroft, artist Lou Harper
Trowchester Blues cover

 

 

TheSubsClub_600x900Winter Oranges coverMy Magical Palace

Paul’s 2016 New Year’s Paranormal Portfolio

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Pauls Paranormal Portfolio Header

Paul’s New Year’s Paranormal Portfolio

A couple of weeks ago, Melanie told us that the full moon and Christmas coincided this year.  She also shared her favorite werewolf series and commented that I might want to share some of mine.  So I am devoting this edition of PPP to my favorite werewolf shifter series.  I will be focusing on series where the primary focus is on werewolf shifters, though other paranormal beings might be featured.

I would like to start off by echoing Melanie’s suggestions.  I found the With and Without You by JL Langley series enjoyable.  Whenever I have a few minutes to spare, I pull up a book in either the Mates or Tameness of the Wolf series by Kendall McKenna and reread them to pass the time.  Both offer unique takes on the werewolf genre.

The Southwestern Shifter series by Bailey Bradford starts off with a veterinarian helping out an injured wolf on the road.  What follows is a battle to assert the rightful claim of leadership of werewolves.  The main group of characters travels to Europe and South America to help restore order to those parts of the world.  In this series, the process of being turned into a werewolf is painful but sometimes necessary in order to stay alive.

One of my favorite authors is Kaje Harper.  Her Hidden Wolves series is one of the reasons why.  Again, it starts with an injured dog being rescued by a vet.  But Paul soon learns that this is not a dog but a wolf and a shifter in fact.  In this world, being a gay wolf is taboo and telling anybody about shifters is punishable by death.  But these wolves have not met someone as spunky and outspoken as Paul.  Soon, this pack becomes a refuge for unwanted gay werewolves.

What is better than a series about werewolves?  How about werewolves who are assassins?  Yes, I am talking about Sandrine Gasq-Dion’s popular Assassin-Shifter series.  What started out as a contract hit on a successful business owner turns into a fight against rogue werewolves that want to convert all werewolves to their rabid ways.  My favorites in the story actually do not do any fighting yet.  I am talking about the young Kane and Matty, the future leaders of werewolves when they grow older,

One last series I would like to mention for now is Charlie Richard’s Wolves of Stone Ridge series.  This series started with one of the Stone Ridge werewolves sold to a local zoo by a group of hunters and expanded into a worldwide conspiracy of evil scientists who have been doing experiments on shifters for almost 200 years.  And yes, another vet is in the first book.  (Do I see a pattern?)  This series spun off three other series all set in the same universe, which feature non-wolf shifters, vampires, and gargoyles.

This is by no means a complete list of my favorites.  I will include more in a future edition of the Portfolio.  I hope everybody has a healthy and prosperous New Year.

You can find all the books at the series pages below:

A Ali Review: Uninvited Guest by Brian Lancaster

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Uninvested GuestFate is conspiring against lawyer Anton Swann. First his grandmother dies, then he hits the worst traffic of his life on the way home from her funeral, keeping him from friends in London—and possibly a much longed-for sighting of his ex. And finally the detour he thought would save him time ends with the electrics failing on his car, leaving Anton to trudge through heavy rain back to an old cottage he’d passed along the way, hoping to find help.

What he finds instead is the mysterious Dr. Stephen Miller, a man fighting his own battles. Anton is invited inside to join the tail end of an all-male dinner party, but this is no chance encounter. What Anton thought was fate is actually a spirit at work making sure he ends up at the cottage—and stays there until unfinished business is resolved for both Anton and Stephen.
 
This was my first time reading this author so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I was pleased with this story.  The writing had a nice flow to it and the characters were well developed.  I liked the slight paranormal twist to it.  It was just the right amount in my opinion.  It was a bit insta-love which in general isn’t my thing but for some reason it still worked for me.  I didn’t care for some of the terminology in the sex scenes though, things like “soft, muscled boundary” and “squirting rivers of hot  nectar ” didn’t work for me and made the scenes kind of awkward.
Overall though I thought this was a solid, nice story and I will definitely try more from this author in the future.

Cover art by L.C. Chase is just gorgeous.

Sales Links:    Dreamspinner Press |  All Romance (ARe) | Amazon  | Buy It Here

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages
Published November 13th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press (first published November 12th 2015)
ISBN 1634767020 (ISBN13: 9781634767026)
Edition LanguageEnglish