A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Heart & Soul by Shae Connor

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

heart-soul-by-shae-oconnorUnder a hundred pages, this story seems much longer due to the author’s crafty way of weaving us into this tale of a very slow burn romance.  There’s so much character development in an interesting story arc that I simply couldn’t believe it was so short.  And though I would love to read more of this couple, the story ended on a perfect note (pun intended).

Kellen is a pianist in a local bar a few nights a week and weekends as needed. In addition, he teaches piano lessons and has a degree in music education with a concentration in jazz piano, so he’s in the perfect position to help out the new owners who want to mix in some R&B and jazz with the current music selections.  Not one for casual sex, or for relationships for that matter, Kellen is attracted to men but rarely acts on that attraction. So it comes as a surprise to him when his friendship for one of the new owners gives him little tingles in more than just his heart.

Terrence Harvey, former pro football player, finally has a chance to use his business degree when he and his attorney brother purchase the bar together. Though out to his family, the bisexual man has remained closeted to the public due to his career choice, but he finds Kellen fascinating and is more than willing to act on that attraction. Regardless, it isn’t until after the 60% mark in the story that they finally have more than a simple kiss, and oh my, what a scorchin’ hot, complex kiss it is when these two finally set off rockets together.

I enjoy the author’s writing style and appreciate the sense of family, warmth, and connection she brings to her books, not to mention the light touch of humor and a load of romance.  I highly recommend this one to lovers of romance, slow burn, and/or stories featuring musicians.

The very attractive cover by AngstyG features Kellen playing the piano in the bar—a perfect representation of his character.

Sales Link

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Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 87 pages
Expected publication: November 14th 2016 by Shae Connor
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Edition LanguageEnglish

An Alisa Release Day Review: Trust and Control by Remmy Duchene

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

trust-and-control-by-remmy-ducheneWealthy real estate mogul Christophe Lafavre has everything—except any love life to speak of. Though he has a brilliant head for business, when it comes to relationships, he’s often left fumbling in the dark.

 

To put a stop to the whispers about his pitiful social life, Christophe takes a suggestion from a friend and goes to a club on masquerade night. There, he meets an elusive hottie who calls himself Raj, and though Christophe cannot see Raj’s face, there’s definitely a connection. Over the phone and online, Christophe and Raj get to know each other. Their conversation is easy and arousing. It’s hard for Christophe to believe the strength of the feelings he’s developing toward a man who is still essentially a stranger, but he can’t get Raj out of his head. They eventually give in to their physical longing—but still Raj refuses to show his face or divulge his identity.

 

When it comes, the revelation will rock Christophe’s world and redefine more than one relationship in his life.

 

I enjoyed this story.  I will say upfront, if others had the same thoughts I did, this book isn’t as heavy in BDSM as I thought it would be.  To me is just seemed like it was playing in the bedroom, which is fine, just not what I expected.  Christophe has never had a romantic relationship that ended well, heck he hasn’t been with anyone for years just to protect himself.  Jaswant has been Christophe’s best friend forever and has been in love with him for the same amount of time, he fears revealing his feelings will ruin their friendship.

 

Chris is completely confused when he meets Raj at the masquerade night; he is scared of his own reaction to the man.  While he learns a bit more about Raj he continues to think there is something familiar about him, but can’t place his finger on it.  When Chris runs away from Jas they both feel that there may be no way to fix their relationship.

 

I could feel Chris’s confusion and Jas’s heart break at their interactions.  When Jas disappears, just when Chris decides they can work it out, Chris goes to the one place he knows Jas would run to.  Chris pursues Jas, but continues to doubt.  The thing about that that bugged me was that Chris’s doubt’s never seemed to change and he always calls his brother to talk him through it.  I just had a hard time believing that Chris would continue to doubt after everything him and Jas went through.  At the same time Jas can’t believe it’s real either until Chris can finally say those three special words.  Overall though I enjoyed this story.

 

Cover art by Aaron Anderson is perfect and I wouldn’t change anything.

 

Sales Links

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Book Details:

ebook, 162 pages

Published: 2nd Edition, November 14, 2016 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN: 9781634779111

Edition Language: English

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Freckles (2016 Holiday Charity Bundle) by Amy Lane

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

freckles-by-amy-laneThe only thing better than a low-level angst story from Amy Lane is one that is low-level angst and has a cute puppy in it and is a Christmas story.  Score all three on this one!

Honestly, the author had me right from the beginning when she painted the picture of Carter, a man who’s been living a boring, very neat and tidy life. He’s just broken up with his boyfriend of three months because he works too many hours, regardless of the fact that he was working to earn enough billable hours to go on a cruise with said boyfriend. When the cute little puppy, who reminded me so much of my own cute little puppy, entered the story via being literally abandoned in Carter’s hands, my heart just melted. 

Two really gentle, sweet, and somewhat ordinary guys, neither with the best of luck in relationships meet when Carter, who somehow found himself with a fluffy, two-pound puppy in his possession, takes the little one to the vet hospital located in the big franchise pet store. He needs to find out what to do with her and how healthy she is (or isn’t). He also has a million questions—mostly looking for the kind of all-around help any panicky person who’s never owned a pet before might require.  There he meets Sandy, a vet tech who’s enrolled part time in veterinary college. Sandy is a hard worker with a great personality and a ton of ambition. So much so, that his past boyfriend left because Sandy didn’t seem to have enough time for fun, and their goals and life ambitions weren’t the same. Sandy can see himself with pets and kids in a committed relationship in his future, something his boyfriend didn’t want. 

As a side note here, I need to thank Amy Lane for allowing Sandy to work in the pet store where the manager, Tommy, seems to have a lot of hot, sexy friends.  As soon as I heard Tommy’s name, I knew who he was, and I’m so happy about this that I feel like Amy Lane gave me a Christmas gift of my own.  Squee!

Back to the story, it’s everything I need to bring me happiness when I’m feeling a little down. As the story progresses, Carter emerges from his preconceived notions of what a successful attorney should be and disregards the mold that had been set for his life—all because of a sexy and kind-hearted vet tech named Sandy and a sweet little puppy named Freckles.  What happens to bring these two men together and to forge a new path for both Carter and Sandy make this story a delight to read.  I highly recommend it for bringing in the holiday cheer. 

The cover by LC Chase shows the adorable puppy, Freckles, peeking out of an open box. Very bright and attractive, this cover is attention-getting.

Sales Links (other links coming soon)

Riptide Publishing

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Book Details:

ebook, 170 pages
Expected publication: November 14th 2016 by Riptide Publishing
ISBN 1626495033 (ISBN13: 9781626495036)
Edition Language English

Amy Lane on Facebook for Dogs and her release ‘Freckles’ (2016 Riptide Holiday Charity Bundle) (guest blog and giveaway)

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Freckles (2016 Holiday Charity Bundle) by Amy Lane
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iptide Publishing
Cover art by L.C. Chase

Read an Excerpt/Order  It Here

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is lucky to have Amy Lane here today to share her thoughts on dog ownership, dogs, and the adventure of a walk from a dogs pov.  Welcome, Amy!

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Facebook for Dogs By Amy Lane

So, in Freckles, my Christmas story, Carter Embree, a guy who has never owned so much of a goldfish, is suddenly in charge of a small dog.

He’s trying to be a good dog owner, so he takes Freckles out for a walk—and ends up getting an entire education about what a dog thinks a walk should be, versus what a people thinks a walk should be.freckles-2-2

It’s an entirely different thing.  I mean, people put dogs on a leash and we think we’re taking them for a walk.

Ha!

Yes, there is walking involved, but the dog isn’t thinking of it as exercise. The dog is pretty sure he’s going FaceBooking—and this leads to some conflict.

Think about it—they catch up on friends, investigate new things, tell each other jokes… if a dog wants to know what’s going on in its community, it gets itself hooked onto a leash and takes its owner for a walk.

And then smells ALL THE DAMNED THINGS—while the people tugs impatiently at the leash and tries not to trip, fall, and die.

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Sort of like my dogs Geoffie and Johnnie, who’s morning FaceBook might go something like this:

“Oh, hey, Geoffie—the Shih-Tzu from across the street has been here—see?”

“Oh yes, Johnnie—she’s eating the good kibble, you can tell—ooh, look, the turkeys have blogged!”

“No! No! No!  Don’t clickbait the turkey poop!”

“But Johnnie… it’s so good! Look! Little delicious juicy sound bites to quibble—“

“Oh, did you see that? The Motherboard doesn’t like clickbait—yanked your chain, she did. Slows the whole thing down. She’ll make you drop that right quick.”

“Butt cookies!!”

“Don’t whine, Geoffie—there’s always more cookies when you click FaceBook for dogs.”

“Ooh… dead-thing memes. Did you see this, Johnnie? I’ve got to roll in it—it makes me happy every time.”

“Ooh… good one, Geoffie! I can roll in this dead-thing meme forever! Ha ha! Ha ha! Ha ha! Aren’t dead-things the BEST!”

“But… but… Motherboard, why won’t you let us surf the dead things? WAIIIIIIEEEEEEE????”

“Too much surfing isn’t good for you, Geoffie. That’s why the Motherboard has the leash and collar control system, you know that.”

“Yes, I know. Come on, Johnnie, let’s—Oh. Didn’t realize you were stopping to blog.”

“You (grunt) know (grunt) about blogging.”

“Ooh—good one, Johnnie.”

“Thanks, Geoffie. (kicks grass over blog)  Suddenly you just get the urge to unload.”

“Yes—I know. I don’t understand why the Motherboard feels the urge to delete our posts though. Don’t you think everybody wants to read them? I mean we like reading everybody else’s.”

“Right? And the bags she uses—stink to high heaven. Citrusy plastic something. Just not as inviting as a good blog. I don’t understand at all.”

“Well, there’s no accounting for taste. And… oh. Must blog.”

“Your blogs are always so short, Geoffie.”

“Thank you.  Oooh… look. Turkeys!”

“Oh my God—FLAME WAR! FLAME WAR WITH THE TURKEYS! DIE MOTHERFUCKERS, GO DOWN IN A BLAZE OF TROLL GLORY!”

“You tell ‘em, Johnnie—we hate turkeys. If they didn’t want us to hate ‘em they wouldn’t leave such good clickbait. Hates ‘em. Don’t back down, you’ve got ‘em on the—OMG!”

“TURKEYS! THEY’RE FLAMING BACK! ABORT ABORT ABORT! DELETE ALL TURKEY POSTS! RUUUUNNNNNNNNNNN!!!”

(Dogs and Motherboard catch breath)

“Oh, nicely done, Johnnie, you told those turkeys!”

“Yes, well, you know. Wanted to walk away from the convo. No use getting sucked into a fight that’s going to last all day.”

“Yeah, we’re almost around the corner anyway. One more sniff so we can read the Great Dane’s blog, and then we can go home and get off FaceBook.  I’m ready for some real life interaction with my canned food and a nap.”

So, next time you see a dog on a walk, picture the world as his computer—and wonder what he’s surfing.  It’s definitely as absorbing to him as FaceBook is to us!

About Freckles

freckles-by-amy-laneCarter Embree has always hoped to be rescued from his productive, tragically boring, and (slightly) ethically compromised life. But when an urchin at a grocery store shoves a bundle of fluff into his hands, Carter goes from rescuee to rescuer—and he needs a little help.

Sandy Corrigan, the vet tech who helps ease Carter into the world of dog ownership, first assumes that Carter is a crazy-pants client who just needs to relax. But as Sandy gets a glimpse into the funny, kind, sexy man under Carter’s mild-mannered exterior, he sees that with a little care and feeding, Carter might be Super-Pet Owner—and decent boyfriend material to boot.

But Carter needs to see himself as a hero first. As he says good-bye to his pristine house and hello to carpet treatments and dog walkers, he finds that there really is more to himself than a researching drudge without a backbone. A Carter Embree can rate a Sandy Corrigan. He can be supportive, he can be a hero, he can be a man who stands up for his principles!

He can be the owner of a small dog.

Now available from Riptide Publishing. http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/freckles

About Amy Lane

Amy Lane exists happily with her noisy family in a crumbling suburban crapmansion, and equally happily with the surprisingly demanding voices who live in her head.

She loves cats, movies, yarn, pretty colors, pretty men, shiny things, and Twu Wuv, and despises house cleaning, low fat granola bars, and vainglorious prickweenies.

She can be found at her computer, dodging housework, or simultaneously reading, watching television, and knitting, because she likes to freak people out by proving it can be done.

Connect with Amy:

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Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Freckles, one lucky winner will receive Freckles in ebook and another ebook of their choice from Amy’s backlist! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 19, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

In the Author Spotlight with J.R. Loveless and their latest release ‘You Belong With Me’ (author interview and excerpt)

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You Belong With Me by J.R. Loveless

Dreamspinner Press
Cover art by Anne Cain
November 9, 2016

Sales Links

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have J.R. Loveless here today. J.R. agree to answer some questions for us and here’s terrific interview that resulted. Welcome, J.R.

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Hi, good morning/afternoon/evening, depending on where you are in the world! I’m J.R. Loveless and I’m here to introduce a new novella release as well as to answer some really awesome questions proposed by Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words! I want to say thanks to the host here for letting me guest post today. It’s a privilege and an honor to be here.

You Belong With Me was released on November 9th from Dreamspinner Press. The story was inspired by a song and the feeling it sparked inside of me when I heard it. Please continue reading for a glimpse into the story and into some of what makes me the writer I am today. I hope you enjoy the interview and the excerpt from my latest novella.

  • Where do you normally draw your inspiration for a book from?  A memory, a myth, a place or journey, or something far more personal? – My inspiration for books comes from every direction. I read a lot, watch movies, listen to music, but even a single conversation can spark an idea. In fact, even discussing my tattoo that I recently got this year sparked an idea for a new universe of shifters. I could be standing in the shower and an idea will come to be from nowhere. I currently have about six WIPs and another seven ideas written down.
  • Are you a planner or a pantzer when writing a story? And  why? – I am definitely a pantzer. I have tried planning or plotting out a story completely from A to Z but by the time I got even a couple of chapters into the story I found myself unable to finish it. Mostly because I was bored with the storyline. I like the mystery of letting my characters write the story as I work on it. It may seem like more work because I have to be careful not to leave plot holes as I go along but at the same time it gives me more of a surprise and more to work with as the story progresses. It leaves it fresh for me really, keeps me on the edge of my seat.
  • Contemporary, supernatural, fantasy, or science fiction narratives or something else?  Does any genre draw you more than another when writing it or reading it and why does it do so? – I prefer paranormal/fantasy. There’s just something about werewolves, vampires, and other creatures, humans being able to shapeshift, just draws me in. Typically when I look for stories, I tend to turn toward those first. I do read contemporary, but there has to be a certain element to it in order for it to grab my attention. I like angst for sure, not just straight up “date and fall in love” romance.
  • If you had a character you’ve written you would write differently now at this time in your writing career, who would it be and why? – I think I’d have to choose Seth from Chasing Seth. I’d make him a little less… of a wilting flower so to speak. I’d make him stronger. He started off that way, but after Kasey came into the picture, he kind of trailed off into leaning on Kasey a bit too much and allowed more of his emotions to show through.
  • Can a author have favorites among their characters and do you have them? – Of course! Even though a parent will tell you they don’t play favorites, they always do. I don’t care what anyone says on that front. People will always have favorites of one kind or another. My favorite character out of all of my own would have to be Logan from Touch Me Gently. Who doesn’t want a strong, gorgeous, kind, sweet cowboy to come sweep them off their feet and show them the kind of love and acceptance Logan shows Kaden?
  • If you were to be stranded on a small demi-planet, island, or god forbid LaGuardia in a snow storm, what books would you take to read or authors on your comfort list? – As I indicated before I love paranormal/urban fantasy so I would definitely be taking shifter stories. I only read gay romance for the most part. Some of my favorite authors are Mary Calmes, Lisa Oliver, and Lynn Hagen. I pretty much read everything by them. I also would have to take my Harry Potter series. 🙂
  • Were you an early reader or were you read to and what childhood books had an impact on you as a child that you remember to this day and why? – I was an early reader, actually. I picked up anything and everything I could. My favorite book as a child was Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. As I grew older I also loved The Black Stallion series by Walter Farley. See the theme? Animal stories! I think that’s why most of my stories usually have an animal in them in some way or another, typically.
  • If you were writing your life as a romance novel, what would the title be? – Where’s the Love?

Blurb

youbelongwithmefs-1Scott has been in love with his best friend Craig for years, but watching Craig with his manipulative boyfriend has worn Scott down, and he knows he needs a break from the pain and maybe a change of scenery and perspective. His twin sister, Karen, convinces him to spend a summer in Paris.

Karen is sick and tired of seeing Scott suffer, and she’s not going to stand for it anymore. She confronts Craig and tells him what he’s been missing by spurning Scott’s affection in favor of a jerk who mistreats him.

When Craig unknowingly breaks Scott’s heart, Craig opens his eyes—and his own heart—to the possibility of a future with Scott. He plans to use the time while Scott’s abroad to orchestrate a romantic surprise that will show Scott they belong together. But when he sees Scott with another man at the airport, Craig fears he’s too late.

Excerpt

Scott

Having slept all day, Scott couldn’t sleep that night. He felt restless and constantly moved his shoulders. Something seemed off and he couldn’t put his finger on it. After some major debating with himself, he finally turned on his cell phone. There were multiple texts from Craig, but he couldn’t bring himself to read them. The odd thing was, once the phone was on, there were no calls or texts. His brooding grew worse.

Stanley tried everything he could to distract him from thinking, but even the smallest thing reminded Scott of Craig. They hadn’t gone a full twenty-four hours in their entire friendship without at least talking to each other. Sadly, last night might be the last time they spoke for a while. Craig would be so pissed at him for leaving without saying good-bye.

That would lead to Scott having to explain why. Could he finally tell him? After all this time? Would Craig hate him? Pity him? It might even end their friendship. Could he survive that? Questions raced each other around and around inside his head, never letting up as the hours drifted by at a slow pace.

“Scott,” Stanley said with exasperation, as if he’d called his name more than once. “Come on. It’s your turn.”

They were in the middle of playing Monopoly. Scott gave a chagrined smile. “Sorry. Guess my mind isn’t all here.”

“Would you rather watch a movie?” Stanley was trying to keep his face passive, blank. Scott knew he felt bad for him.

Scott shrugged. “If you’d prefer.”

They cleaned up the game, and Stanley popped in an action movie that didn’t have a speck of romance. “Want some popcorn?” he offered.

“Nah. I’m not really hungry.” In fact, Scott hadn’t eaten all day. The thought of food made him feel sick to his stomach.

Not more than thirty minutes into the movie, Stanley fell asleep. Scott heard his soft snuffle and smiled. He stood up and pulled the afghan from the back of the couch to cover him. He carefully removed Stanley’s wire-framed glasses to set them on the coffee table. It reminded him of the many times Craig had fallen asleep while they were watching a movie late at night.

Scott sighed and wearily sank down into the easy chair nearby. He knew it was time to let Craig go, but how would he find the strength he needed to do it? It wasn’t fair to Craig if he just cut him from his life. Craig didn’t know.

He wasn’t even sure how he let himself fall in love with Craig. But he clearly remembered the day he realized it. They were playing basketball outside his house, and Craig stripped off his shirt to wipe the sweat from his face. Scott’s eyes were drawn to Craig’s chest and stomach. The sun glinted off the beads of sweat like diamonds. Craig tossed the shirt at him teasingly. “What? You want my hot bod?” He flexed his miniscule muscles arrogantly.

Maybe that was Scott’s chance, but he swallowed hard and shakily said, “No. Who’d want your skinny-chicken self?”

Craig let out an indignant shout and rushed at him. Scott tried to run, but Craig was faster and tackled him in the grass before he started to tickle him. Tears were rolling by the time Craig collapsed onto the grass next to him, huffing from his own laughter. His eyes were sparkling with happiness and affection. “Buds forever, right?”

As he looked into Craig’s eyes, Scott’s heart started to pound so hard against his rib cage. And an overwhelming sense of wanting to kiss his beautiful lips washed over him. He managed to choke out, “Yeah.”

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Find Me Here:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjrloveless

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Website: http://www.jrloveless.com