Its Valentine’s Day and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s or should I say Lupercalia Day! Even when young, madly handing  out those cardboard valentines to my classmates in kindergarten, I never heard much or even cared much about the origins of Valentine’s Day.  I don’t remember any teachers talking about it, certainly no bulletin board presentations on it, other than to display our heart artwork such as they were.

Even as I thought about it this morning, the first thought in my head was that Hallmark came up with it as a way to move a ton more cards than ever before and bring the florists and candy industry along with them.  Just a scoosh cynical?  Perhaps.  Maybe I need Stella to write this…

Then I started to look into the history.  Some of it involved St. Valentine (did you know there were 3) and Roman Emperor Claudius who had a disagreement over which made better soldiers, unmarried young men or married men, with Claudius coming down resoundingly on the unmarried side. Which put St. Valentine on the other  (never a good thing with emperors, remember there is a  reason he’s called a saint). Claudius outlawed young soldiers getting married, Valentine continued to marry them…which saw him to an early grave and sainthood.  Going further down the timeline, there’s the celebration of Lupercalia, dedicated to Faunus, Roman god of agriculture and yep, fertility.  That’s the handsome fellow at the top. It involved sacrificing goats and dogs (purity), skinning the goats, cutting the hides into strips and then dipping them into blood.  Young maidens would then be flicked, flogged, whipped (depends on the history you read) with the hides, a practice that all believed would make the women more fertile.  Young unmarried men picked the names of the maidens out of a urn, and spent the night  together or maybe all together.  Those fertility things got a little crazy.

I loved that the articles said the women welcomed it.  Really? Show me the articles. Or did they just put up with it because they had to, culturally speaking.  Why even go there in a article?  Sorry, back to Valentine’s Day again…

Anyhow, all that stuff was declared un Christian and done away with at least on the surface and somehow we arrive at 1400 with rosy feelings intact.  The first valentine we know about was a  poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife (number one) while he was jailed in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. Charles spent 24 years as a hostage and became a renown poet during that time, including writing the first valentine.  Not bad.  Despite being imprisoned for 24 years (in very posh digs I might add) he was married 3 times.

1900 saw the first printed Valentine’s Day cards and the holiday has never looked back.  Here are a few Valentine’s Day statistics for you:

  • Over 1 billion cards worldwide are sent today.
  • Next to cards, are flowers and chocolates.
  • In addition to the U.S., Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Denmark, Italy and Japan.

 

Now for some winner announcements…Announcement clip art

  • Winner of Chase Potter’s The Music of the Sphere’s ebook is Carolyn.
  • Winner of  Christian Baines’ Puppet Boy is H.B.
  • Winner of Joe Cosentino’s giveaway for a book from his backlist is Ree Dee.

Congratulations to all three. They have been notified.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 

Sunday, February 14 (Valentine’s Day)

  • Looking for A Valentine’s Day Story?  Check out ‘Love At Roades End’ by Kris T. Bethke (author guest post)
  • Mia Kerick’s ‘The Art of Hero Worship’ release day book blast and giveaway
  • Its Valentine’s Day and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, February 15:

  • Chris T. Kat’s ‘Mending the Rift’ cover reveal and giveaway
  • Dreamspinner Press Author Spotlight: Dormant Heart by Lane Swift (guest post)
  • Voss Porter’s ‘The Wrong Kind of Woman’ cover reveal and giveaway
  • A VVivacious Review: Mute Witness by Rick R. Reed
  • A Lila Review: Pretty Human by Kayleigh Skye

Tuesday, February 16:

  • In the Spotlight: Brad Vance ‘Strength In Numbers’ (excerpt and giveaway)
  • Need a New Romance to Love? Check Out Love Me Tenor by Annabeth Albert (excerpt and giveaway)
  • Its Love and Kink Time with Morticia Knight ‘Bondage Rescue (excerpt/giveaway)
  • A Stella Review: Strong Side by Alison Hendricks
  • A MelanieM Review: Sharing the Pond by Alex Whitehall

Wednesday, February 17:

  • Dreamspinner Press Author Tour:   Conversation Hearts by Avon Gale (guest post)
  • Grein Murray ‘Capturing Oliver’ book blast and giveaway
  • Michele Michael Rakes ‘Trainwreck’ Keep Me In Mind tour and contest
  • A Ali Review: Spirit by John Inman (audio version)
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: James Eyre by Jade Astor

Thursday, February 18:

  • In the Author Spotlight:  Melanie Hansen on Writing and Love and the Exocism (guest post)
  • Love Science Fiction and Romance? Check out Scardust by Suzanne van Rooyen (excerpt and giveaway)‏
  • Bailey Bradford ‘Dragon Dreams & Fairy Wings’ book blast and giveaway
  • A Lila Review: Love and the Exorcism by Melanie Hansen
  • A MelanieM Review: Acts of Passion By Sedonia Guillone

Friday, February 19:

  • How the Cookie Crumbles (Bluewater Bay, #12) by Jaime Samms Riptide Tour and Contest
  • The Way You Look Tonight by Jo Tannah‏ guest post and contest
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:How the Cookie Crumbles (Bluewater Bay, #12) by Jaime Samms
  • A Lila Review: Fantasy For a Gentleman by Caitlin Ricci
  • A Stella Review: Patchwork by Indra Vaughn

Saturday, February 20:

  • In the Spotlight: Love Unlocked: A Beaten Track Anthology’ (giveaway and excerpts)
  • A Sammy Review: Cronin’s Key III by NR Walker

 

 

 

 

 

 

Out of Darkness Can Come Love with Mia Kerick’s The Art of Hero Worship (excerpt and giveaway)

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The Art of Hero Worship by Mia Kerick
Release Date: February 14, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Cool Dudes Publishing
Cover Artist: Louis C. Harris

Blurb

Trembling on the floor, pressed beneath a row of seats in a dark theater, college freshman Jason Tripp listens to the terrifying sound of gunshots, as an unknown shooter moves methodically through the theater, randomly murdering men, women, and children attending a student performance of Hamlet. Junior Liam Norcross drapes his massive body on top of Jason, sheltering the younger man from the deathly hail of bullets, risking his life willingly, and maybe even eagerly.

As a result of the shared horror, an extraordinary bond forms between the two young men, which causes discomfort for family and friends, as well as for Jason and Liam, themselves. And added to the challenge of two previously “straight” men falling into a same-sex love, are the complications that arise from the abundance of secrets Liam holds with regard to a past family tragedy. The fledgling passion between the men seems bound to fade away into the darkness from which it emerged.

Jason, however, is inexplicably called to rescue his hero in return, by delving into Liam’s shady past and uncovering the mystery that compels the older man to act as the college town’s selfless savior.

The Art of Hero Worship takes the reader on a voyage from the dark and chilling chaos that accompanies a mass shooting to the thrill of an unexpected and sensual romance.

 

Pages or Words: 212 pages
Categories: Contemporary, Crime Fiction, Gay Fiction,

Excerpt

Pop-pop-pop….

No, I’m not even remotely safe. But thankfully I play dead far better than my dog did when I taught him that trick at the age of seven.

The shots are earsplitting and getting louder because the shooter’s heading our way. I’m so fucking scared I’m trembling violently, but I promised the guy lying on top of me that I’d stay still. I concentrate on taking short shallow breaths, one after another, in my effort to stop trembling. To stay frozen—like I’ve been since I pulled Ginny to the floor and promptly let go of her hand so I could curl up into a tight fetal ball.

Somebody near me sits up, scrambles to his knees, and impulsively crawls toward the far aisle.

Pop-pop-pop…

“Bang, bang… you’re dead.” The voice comes from directly above me; it’s blank and monotone and controlled. The weird snicker that follows is chilling. I want nothing more than to throw the big guy off my back and run like hell toward the double doors, but I just keep on going with the short breaths and stay as still as I’ve ever been in my life. Even in my terrified state, I know that the guy on top of me is totally exposed and I can’t move because I’ll cheat him out of his life, for sure. Which is so not cool when he’s trying to save mine.

I smell blood. Never noticed the smell of blood before. It reminds me of Grandma’s penny collection… if it got spilled onto the sticky floor of the theater. The scent of old copper is everywhere… like wet pennies strewn all around me on the floor.

Pop-pop-pop…

Shooter’s right above us now. Don’t move… don’t move… don’t move….

“Dear God, help us!” This request seems to catch the shooter’s attention and he turns around and steps away from us. I curse myself for feeling as relieved, and maybe even glad, as I do.

Pop-pop-pop….

We wait and it seems like forever. We wait as voices beg and plead and pray and he shuts them up with bullets. We wait as the sound of shots moves to the front left near the exit, where I figure he’s shooting at anyone who tries to get out through the double doors.

And then, for a second, it’s quiet.

“Now….” The big guy’s voice is whispering but it seems to blast into my left ear. “We have to make our move now.” Before I agree, the heaviness of his body lifts and I feel cold and exposed. “This is our chance to get outta here….”

His hand is attached to the back of my wrist, clutching me so hard that I know I’ll have fingerprint bruises for a week… if I live so long.

Buy the book:  AmazonAllRomance 

 

Meet the Author

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young men and their relationships, and she believes that sex has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to CoolDudes Publishing, Dreamspinner Press, Harmony Ink Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.

Mia is proud of her involvement with the Human Rights Campaign and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

Where to find the author:


Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, Mikky’s World of Books, Jessie G. Books, TTC Books and More, Bayou Book Junkie, Happily Ever Chapter, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, BFD Book Blog, Inked Rainbow Reads, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Louise Lyons, Unquietly Me, Bonkers About Books, MM Good Book Reviews, Velvet Panic, Kirsty Loves Books, The Hat Party, Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy, Molly Lolly, Cheekypee Reads and Reviews

 

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: $15 Amazon Gift Card. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.

 

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Its Valentine’s Day. Treat Yourself to a Love Story. ‘Love at Roades End’ by Kris T. Bethke (author guest post)

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Love at Roades End by Kris T. Bethke
Dreamspinner Press

Goodreads Link
Cover Artist L.C. Chase

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Kris T. Bethke here to talk about Love at Rhoades End, her latest novel, and her writing process. Welcome, Kris, thanks for sharing with our readers.

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Thanks so much for allowing me to pop in today, and thanks to everyone who’s stopped by to read!

Up until about a year ago, I was a complete and total pantser. Yep. I got a vague idea for a story and I’d start writing willy nilly with nary a plan to be seen. Sometimes, this worked. Several of my published stories were written that way and they turned out just fine. But just about a year ago, I had a story brewing in my brain and I saw so much of it that I wrote a rough summary.

And a new method for writing was born.

Now I’m a combination plotter and pantser. And , my newest release, is the perfect example of why. I wrote this story in four evenings, and only had to do a minimal of tweaking and editing before it was ready for submission. When I got the plot idea, and let it percolate in my brain, Sean and Hunter emerged to tell me their story. Before I actually started writing it, I worked out the major plot points and wrote it all down.  And then I worked off that when actually writing the story.

It didn’t stay exactly as I had plotted it, of course. And I allow for things to change. I don’t get bent out of shape if I don’t follow the outline exactly. Heck, sometimes my brain comes up with something on the fly and I follow that track instead of what I originally envisioned. Sean and Hunter didn’t veer too far off their original path, and since I’d already worked out plot holes while writing the summary, that made it a quick and fun write.

Their story is short and sweet, a perfect little Valentine’s Day story. I was writing it with a word limit in mind, and I worked hard to get only the necessary information on the page. Sean and Hunter were made to meet and fall in love, and I truly enjoyed writing their story. I hope you’ll consider picking this one up when looking for a happy, fluffy, Valentine’s Day romance!

About Love at Roades End

Sean Newvine is looking forward to his weekend at Roades End Inn so he can review his stay there for inclusion on his travel website. What he never expects is for the owner, Hunter Roades, to capture his attention from the very start.

The only problem is Hunter thinks Sean’s been sent by his brother on a blind date so that Hunter doesn’t have to spend Valentine’s Day alone. Once the awkward misunderstanding is resolved, Sean is charmed by Hunter’s formality and hospitality. And when they have a chance to really talk, sparks fly.

A passion-filled night has them both wanting more, but Hunter pulls away knowing Sean doesn’t live in town and the distance might be more than they can overcome. Sean and Hunter must figure out if they can make it work for longer than one night, or if their chance at love will end at Roades End Inn before it can begin.

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press |Amazon | AReKoboBarnes and Noble

About the Author

Kris T Bethke has been a voracious reader for pretty much her entire life and has been writing stories for nearly as long. An avid and prolific daydreamer, she always has a story in her head. She spends most of her free time reading, writing, or knitting/crocheting her latest project. Her biggest desire is to find a way to accomplish all three tasks at one time. A classic muscle car will always turn her head and naps on the weekend are one of her greatest guilty pleasures. She lives in a converted attic with an aquarium full of tropical fish and the voices in her head. She’ll tell you she thinks that’s a pretty good deal. Kris believes that love is love, no matter the gender of people involved and that all love deserves to be celebrated. She loves to hear from her readers, so feel free to drop her a line.

You can find her on Twitter @KrisTBethke or on her blog http://www.kristbethke.com