A MelanieM Release Day Review: Flying Fish (Sword and Silk Trilogy #1) by Sedonia Guillone

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

FlyingFish_postcard_front_DSPSword and Silk: Book One

In eighteenth century Japan, during the golden age of samurai and of the Kabuki theater, young actors known as “flying fish” traveled the countryside, performing for audiences by day and giving their bodies to their samurai patrons at night.

Genji Sakura is one such flying fish, yet he dreams of finding the man he can give his heart to and leave the loneliness of his itinerant life behind. Though he loves theater, he doesn’t love every part of his profession, especially some of the patrons. So when a handsome ronin comes upon him stealing some solitude for a bath in a hot spring and their encounter turns passionate, Genji’s surprised and delighted.

Daisuke Minamoto’s past fills his life with a bitterness that grips his soul and makes him dangerous. Yet passion takes him when he spies on a graceful young man bathing naked in a hot spring. He has always loved women, but he can’t deny the call of his heart.

After an afternoon of sexual bliss, his heart and soul are tormented and torn. Keeping this miraculous lover will require giving up the one thing that has kept him alive for years: his hatred for the lord who murdered his wife. If he loves another, how will he go on and who will he become?

I found author Sedonia Guillone years ago and then lost track of her and her magical stories.  Now once more Sedonia and her lyrical and sometimes violent tales of love are back and I couldn’t be more delighted.  In Flying Fish (Sword and Silk Trilogy #1) by Sedonia Guillone, a story of  81 pages seems to carry us back into 18th century Japan where a ronin Samurai and a traveling young actor known as flying fish or tobiko can meet on a trail near a stream and fall gently in love. But like all Japanese tales, there’s darkness the hovers over the characters, following one, and soon the other.  You are pulled effortlessly into the era, by language, location, and the sheer gentleness of Genji Sakura, the flying fish and main character here.  He’s sweetness, with the lightness of being of a sakura petal, and just as soft.  Guillone has painted a full portrait of the actor here and you can’t quite get enough of Genji.

Daisuke Minamoto is a portrait of a man covered in darkness and despair. He’s the sharpness of a blade and the roughness of a lordless life.  He’s had one goal all this time and has returned to carry it out.  Until he meets Genji Sakura and is shown a light he thought was lost.

There is a beauty to the language and flow of the story and it moves with a pace of its own staying true to the characters and time.  I just adored it and them.

As Genji says:

Love is the transformative power of the universe. The only real thing in existence, it can change the course of a human being’s life if that person is open to its healing power. From the highest emperor to the lowest peasant in the field, love is the only great leveler aside from death.

— From Tale of the Loyal Samurai by Sakura Genji (1659-1768), performed for the opening of the Great Kabuki Theater in 1685

This is a tale of hope, and of love and even a future that neither thought possible.  Such joy in 81 pages.  Pick it up and discover both the author and Flying Fish for yourself.

Cover art by Reese Dante.  I like the cover but I’m just not sure that’s the characters of the story.  Read it and let me know your opinion.

Sales Links

        

Book Details:

Release Date Aug 17, 2016
Type Novellas
Words 27,707
Pages 81
ISBN-13 978-1-63477-542-7
File Formats epub, mobi, pdf

 

Love’s Not Blind in BA Tortuga’s Real World (Release Day Tour & Excerpt!)

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Real World

Real World (Love is Blind #2) by B.A. Tortuga
D
reamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Bree Archer

Release Date August 15, 2016

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is so happy to have BA Tortuga here today with an excerpt from her latest novel, Real World.  Welcome, BA.

Hey y’all, it’s BA Tortuga, resident redneck and lover of all things cowboy and redneck.  Here’s an excerpt from my new book, Real World, the story of Dan, a soldier who’s just left the service, and Weldon, a central Texas redneck that’s one of Dan’s brother’s husband’s (man, is that convoluted as hell or what?) best friends.

Much love, y’all.

BA

Blurb

A Love is Blind Novel

Dan White is trying to acclimate to civilian life after a long career in the military with multiple combat deployments.

Now he’s home in the Austin area, living with his brother Dixon, Dixon’s husband, Audie, and their two nine-year-olds. During the New Year celebration, Dan meets Abraham Weldon, and the connection is instant.

There’s a kiss. There’s a dance. There’s a proposition.

Then Dan finds out Weldon is bisexual.

And a dad.

With five kids. Five kids, one of whom is a blind fifteen-year-old.

Weldon has been in love twice in his life—with his high school best friend, Blake, and with his wife, Krista, who he met in a Dairy Queen as she was crying over a positive pregnancy test. Love number three hits Weldon like a hammer when he meets Dan.

But since Dan isn’t interested in a guy with kids, they might only get one night together.

.

Excerpt from Real World

“Hey, Emma, stop pulling Kenzie’s hair.” Dan was going to lose his shit. How could this be so hard? All he had to do was keep five kids from killing one another for an hour until Mel got there.

Weldon had blown a tire in Buda and Mel had a doctor’s appointment she couldn’t reschedule, so Dan had said, sure, he could watch the kids. No problem.

“She’s got bugs in there!” Emma teased and Kenzie immediately started to scream, which set Caleb off too.

“There are no bugs.” He couldn’t just bark orders like he did with soldiers. Dan plucked Caleb out of his high chair, patting his back. “Emma, let go. Now.”

“For fuck’s sake! Shut the fuck up. All you do is make everything worse, Emma. MacKenzie, come here right now!” Jakob looked like he was fixin’ to rain hellfire on the girls.

“Jakob!” The name shot out like a high powered rifle shot. “Language.”

Kenzie looked at him, then buried her face in Jakob’s chest. Jakob scowled in his general direction. “Look, you’re not my dad. You’re not even the dude that’s screwing around with my real dad. Back off.”

“Jakob!” Maddie stared at her big brother, blue eyes huge in her face. “That’s mean.”

“It’s true.” Jakob looked so stiff, so defiant.

“Whatever I am, your dad asked me to keep an eye on all of you for a freaking hour.” Dan put all of his officer training in his voice, knowing grown men quailed before it. “You can be civil or you can leave the room.”

Jakob stormed off and the rest of them just stared. It was Maddie who spoke. “He didn’t mean it.”

Caleb hiccupped, and he tried a smile. “I know. Heck, y’all are still getting to know me.” Dan meant it, too. Still, Jakob’s real dad comment bothered him.

It was fairly obvious that Weldon wasn’t Jakob’s biological father, but none of the kids seemed to think it was a thing. As far as Dan knew, the bio dad wasn’t in the picture.

“I’m sorry,” Emma said quietly.

“Maybe better to tell Kenzie that, huh?” That was what he was supposed to say, right? God.

“Sorry, Kenzie. That was mean. You want to color with me? You can use the markers that smell good.”

“For reals?”

“Uh-huh.” Emma offered a tiny smile, and Dan nodded at her, pleased.

Then he glanced at Maddie. “You okay?”

“I don’t like it when it’s mean.”

No, Maddie was a peacemaker, for sure.

“I’m sorry I yelled.” Dan knew he’d been justified, but Maddie deserved a quiet place to do her homework.

“It’s okay. I wanted to yell a little, too.”

Caleb patted Dan’s cheeks suddenly. “S’okay, Dan-Dan.”

He chuckled softly, the little touch unbearably charming. “It is okay, Caleb. Totally.”

“Milk?”

“Has he had milk in the last few hours?” Dan knew Weldon was trying to cut Caleb back a bit.

“Not since we came home from school.”

“Me too, Dan-Dan?” Kenzie asked. “Just a little glass?”

“Yep. You want some, Maddie? Emma?” He could stop on the way back from work tomorrow and get more milk.

“No, thanks. I’m going to have a Diet Coke.” Maddie caught Emma with a glare. “And I’m not sneaking it. I’ll have water with supper. Dan can tell Daddy or I can text him.”

“I’ll let him know,” Dan murmured, heading to the fridge to distribute milk.

Weldon did this all by himself. Weldon had done this with a brand-new baby, grieving for his wife. Dan couldn’t even imagine how much work and how little sleep Weldon had put in.

He had nothing but respect for Weldon.

Well, respect and lust.

Sales Links

        

About BA Tortuga

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the  high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head. Find her on the web at www.batortuga.com

Love is Blind Series with links to our 5 star reviews:

Ever the Same (Love is Blind, #1) by B.A. Tortuga
Real World (Love is Blind, #2) by B.A. Tortuga

In Our Contemporary Romance Spotlight: Adulting 101 by Lisa Henry (tour/giveaway)

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Adulting101_600x900

Adulting 101 by Lisa Henry
R
iptide Publishing
Cover art by L.C. Chase

Read an Excerpt/Buy It Here

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Lisa Henry here today  with her most recent release, Adulting 101.  Welcome, Lisa.

~~~

Hi, and welcome to the blog tour to celebrate the release of Adulting 101 by Lisa Henry. I’m visiting some of my favourite blogs around the place to talk about writing Adulting 101, some of my influences and inspiration, and even sharing an excerpt or two! Don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance to win a prize!

Blurb

The struggle is real.

Nick Stahlnecker is eighteen and not ready to grow up yet. He has a summer job, a case of existential panic, and a hopeless crush on the unattainable Jai Hazenbrook. Except how do you know that your coworker’s unattainable unless you ask to blow him in the porta-potty?

That’s probably not what Dad meant when he said Nick should act more like an adult.

Twenty-five-year-old Jai is back in his hometown of Franklin, Ohio, just long enough to earn the money to get the hell out again. His long-term goal of seeing more of the world is worth the short-term pain of living in his mother’s basement, but only barely.

Meeting Nick doesn’t fit in with Jai’s plans at all, but, as Jai soon learns, you don’t have to travel halfway around the world to have the adventure of a lifetime.

This is not a summer romance. This is a summer friendship-with-benefits. It’s got pizza with disgusting toppings, Netflix and chill, and accidental exhibitionism. That’s all. There are no feelings here. None. Shut up.

You can find out more about Adulting 101 at Riptide.

About Lisa Henry

Lisa likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.

Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn’t know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she’s too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.

She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.

She shares her house with too many cats, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.

Adulting101_TourBanner

Giveaway

Each comment on this blog tour enters you for a chance to win a $20 Riptide credit and an ebook of your choice from my back catalogue. You’ll also win a super secret cute little gift that’s very close to my (and Nick’s) heart! Entries close August 20, and contest is not restricted to US residents. Remember to leave your email address in the comments so I can contact you if you win!

In the Spotlight: Priest and Pariahs by Mann Ramblings (excerpt and giveaway)

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Priest and Pariahs Blog Tour

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Mann Ramblings here today to talk about writing, influences and the latest release Priest & Pariahs!

Family Influences by Mann Ramblings

I suppose it’s not really a surprise when you start plotting out a story and constructing your characters, you delve deeper than their physical characteristics. (Not that it’s not important, but we’re going beyond the superficial.) It’s not enough to know what they look like. If you want your protagonist to be more complex and genuine to your readers, there has to be more.

I usually start with their backstory. A character’s history is key to how they became the person they are. What influenced them? What motivated them? For Priest & Pariahs, I wanted a common theme between my three main characters, and without contriving some narrative link to tie them together, I found something universal regardless of their backgrounds. I chose family.

Whether we want to or not, our families affect our perception of the world, even if they were missing from it altogether. They shape our interactions with others and direct us. Whether through defiance of their authority, being a product of their values, or reacting to their actions, we rarely escape their influence.

I’ve been extraordinarily fortunate. I was in my twenties when I came out and the thought of losing people close to me was a very real terror. My family accepted me without incident, and even the ones I braced for and rehearsed for harsh opposition were unaffected by the news. (They even asked where my boyfriend was. How awkward!) They’ve accepted my bold and often inappropriate sense of humor, and when writing M/M romance became more than an offline hobby, they still saw nothing shameful about me. One of my aunts, who is quite conservative and religious, found out about my first book, and wanted a copy. Not because she wanted to read it, (the sexual content was WAY outside of her comfort zone) but because she wanted it sitting on her mantle to show how proud she was of me. I can’t say how much I adore her.

It’s this kind of support I’ve received that keeps me writing. Knowing that while my family might not be prepared to read my work, they’ve never stopped seeing my talents and believing in them. I guess that would be my family influence.

Synopsis – Priest and Pariahs

Ship Logs of the Santa Claus, Book Three

Costa McQuillen is a Pariah, a para-human with tech empathic abilities who has escaped from Earth, where being para-human is illegal—and marks him for extermination. Arrogant and standoffish, Costa is unable to trust anyone, but is willing to risk everyone’s safety to reach the planet Omoikane. His best solution: gaining passage on board the Santa Claus.

Arbor Kittering, the crew’s newest coding tech, is a medical oddity. With the technologies available to prevent birth defects, Arbor’s status as a dwarf brings the kind of attention he could happily do without. Having spent a short time in prison for data hacking and falsifying government files doesn’t help. The Santa Claus is his last chance at a new start, if he can decipher the strange malfunctions plaguing the ship.

Priest, the Santa Claus’ Head Pilot, is a bit of a scoundrel. Perpetually single, Priest is attracted to Costa for his exotic looks, and to Arbor for his unique qualities. In truth, he’d like to have both, but it’s clear such a thing isn’t in the cards. Now Priest needs to make a choice, before it’s too late.

Excerpt

WHAT THE FUCK is this, Priest?” Arbor shouted.

Mac watched as his newest employee scrambled out of his Mess Hall chair and stalked towards the Santa Claushead pilot. When they sat down to dinner, Mac noticed an edge of discomfort running through Arbor, but Mac had put it off to being the new guy. Now he knew there was something specific bothering him. The sudden vitriol pouring off Arbor made Mac get up and follow him, if only to avoid another public incident with Priest.

Arbor thrust his personal datapad into Priest’s line of sight. “You want to tell me what this looks like?”

The raised eyebrows and thin smirk on Priest’s face spoke volumes. “It looks like Mr. Wiggles.”

Mr. Wiggles?” Mac said. Craning his head over Arbor, he reached over and turned the screen by turning Arbor’s wrist. “Oh cute! You have a sock monkey! Is this picture in Engineering? Why…?” Mac’s expression deadpanned as he realized what was happening. “Oh, wait… there’s a ransom note attached. Shit.” Frowning, Mac turned on Priest. “You didn’t.”

Arbor didn’t wait for a response. “The message said, ‘Come to Engineering or you’ll never see Mr. Wiggles alive again.’ Then I went to where the holo showed, but he wasn’t there. Then I got another com that sent me somewhere else.” Arbor jammed a finger into Priest’s chest. “Where is he?”

Priest’s mouth went tight to contain his laughter. “I have no idea.”

Arbor’s jaw tightened and his whole body quaked in rage. “Bullshit! You’re the only one who’s been in my room, so it has to be you!” A few snickers could be heard from other dining crew members. It was clear multiple people were already involved and watching this new scene.

Arbor, it’s a prank.” Mac placed his hand on Arbor’s shoulder in a vain hope to calm him down. “Every so often the crew snatches a personal effect and they pass it around from one person to the next. They send an encrypted ransom note to make the owner run around. It’s kind of an initiation of sorts.”

Has it ever happened to you?”

Priest snorted. “He’s the captain’s boy. We like our nuts where they are, thank you very much.”

Why would you do that to me?”

Priest and Pariah Cover

Buy Links

Don’t miss the discounted release prices on all retailer sites!

WIP: http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/product/priest-and-pariahs-by-mann-ramblings/
ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-priestandpariahs-2077398-340.html
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Priest-Pariahs-Ship-Santa-Claus-ebook/dp/B01IQ3WIVG/
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Priest-Pariahs-Ship-Santa-Claus-ebook/dp/B01IQ3WIVG/
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Priest-Pariahs-Ship-Santa-Claus-ebook/dp/B01IQ3WIVG/
Amazon DE: https://www.amazon.de/Priest-Pariahs-Ship-Santa-Claus-ebook/dp/B01IQ3WIVG/

Book Trailer

Start with Books One and Two of Ship Logs of the Santa Claus!

The Luxorian Fugitive

Luxorian PreviewSergeant Liam Jacks is the security chief of transport vessel, The Santa Claus. He travels the planetary cluster with Marc Danverse, his best friend and captain, seeking to escape his tortured past and find some peace of mind.

Having been through a civil war together, Danverse and Liam are close. Maybe too close….

All that changes when mysterious stranger, Hadrian Jamison, an escaped Adonirati, books passage to Alpha Centauri. Can he be trusted? Can the stories of his past be believed?

As Liam’s fascination with Hadrian grows, jealousy threatens to tear apart his friendship with Danverse.

When Hadrian’s owner shows up, Liam is forced to go against orders in order to launch a rescue mission to save him.

The ensuing conflict may be more than any of them expected.

Buy Links

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Luxorian-Fugitive-Ship-Santa-Claus-ebook/dp/B00V6KO1CG/
Amazon UK:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Luxorian-Fugitive-Ship-Santa-Claus-ebook/dp/B00V6KO1CG/
Amazon AU:  http://www.amazon.com.au/Luxorian-Fugitive-Ship-Santa-Claus-ebook/dp/B00V6KO1CG/
WIP:  http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/product/the-luxorian-fugitive-by-mann-ramblings/
ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-theluxorianfugitive-1768560-145.html
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-luxorian-fugitive-mann-ramblings/1121637747?ean=9781925222388

A Cook’s Tale

A Cooks Tale - Mann RamblingsThe trials and tribulations of the crew and passengers of interplanetary transport vessel, The Santa Claus continues in A Cook’s Tale.

After a horrific breakup, Erron Murfin is bitter, homeless, and friendless. When the cook’s position on the Santa Claus presents itself, Erron decides to escape his current circumstances and join the crew. On board he reconnects with family friend Gamin Wells, whose own secrets and issues begin to surface upon Erron’s arrival. The least of which is the reason the pair haven’t laid eyes on one another in over twelve years.

As Erron settles into his new duties, the men on board take an interest in their newest crew member. Among those intrigued by Erron are polyamorous couple, Barrus and James. Despite Erron’s cautious nature, he’s drawn into a triad relationship with the pair.

But there’s something about Gamin…

Is Erron too damaged to confront his own feelings?

Will his past prevent him from finding what he needs?

Buy Links

WIP: http://www.waywardinkpublishing.com/product/a-cooks-tale-by-mann-ramblings/
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B017I26RXG/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017I26RXG/
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B017I26RXG/
Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/dp/B017I26RXG/
ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-acook039stale-1925761-153.html
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-cooks-tale-mann-ramblings/1122908859

Giveaway

Prizes: 1 ebook copy – The Luxorian Fugitive; 1 bundle – Books 1 & 2 of Ship Logs of the Santa Claus

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About the Author

Like many gay men, when Mann Ramblings grew up, there weren’t any heroes he could relate to. The world held him back while he tried futilely to hide the real person inside. So much has changed since those hollow days. He finally found his voice, the voice that says it’s all right to revel in the so-called inappropriate joys, laughs, and loves that storm inside a man’s head. It took a long time to find that courage and now that it’s here, he plans to use it well.

While spending years more focused on visual arts, he never let go of his innate passion for storytelling—he wanted to write and draw comic books when he grew up. Once he discovered M/M fiction, a whole new world opened with new possibilities. Why couldn’t you have fantastic and dynamic tales with an M/M cast? He started reading the online tales of authors like, Night Tempest, Rob Colton, and Alicia Nordwell, which only fueled within him the need to create. Eventually he found GayAuthors.org, and with a little coercive nudge from Night Tempest, started sharing his tales with an unexpected level of positive response. That experience and support gave him the courage to cross his fingers and aim for the world of M/M publishing.

Born and raised in Michigan, Mann Ramblings continues to type away, wishing it was practical to use a noisy, old fashioned keyboard that clacks with each strike, if only to annoy his loving partner and spoiled miniature dachshund.

Email: mannramblings@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mannramblings
Twitter: @mannramblings