A MelanieM Review: Elemental Ride by Mell Eight


Rating: 3 stars out of 5

elemental-rideRawley isn’t the type to crush hard and fast on anyone, but he’s somehow helpless when it comes to the new mailman. Even his bikes and his job as enforcer for a local motorcycle gang, the center of his world, don’t compare to his interest in Reign. Unfortunately, Reign doesn’t seem to be as interested—but secrets and magic have a way of turning everything upside down.

Elemental Ride is a short story by Mell Eight in the Roughhouse Riders series (written by different authors) by LT3 Press. Many of the things I liked about it can’t really be discussed here as they fall into spoiler territory and take away the aha moments the author has in store for the readers.

Lets just say its a  neat idea and I can’t say that I’ve seen it in another story before, at least handled in this manner.  Its both a strength of Elemental Ride and one place where the story falls a little short.  Short as in length.   For such a complicated aspect to this plot line (and trust me, this is Mell Eight’s typical weird, twisted little world), this story needed to be far longer than 65 pages.

I liked Rawley. I got a real sense of the man, his place but not his gang.  Since motorcycles clubs, it is their series after all, are his family, they should play a huge part of this, and I never got that really.  I needed more background here.  Perhaps there’s another book I’m missing.

There is romance but it is not the focus but the mysteries that the author is  playing with that are the key here.  So when the romance/love does occur, the connection you have with it isn’t as strong as it might have been, at least in my opinion.  Again, had this story been enlarged to the degree that all the elements had the layers they deserve and the time for the author to enrich them with dimension, more scenes, and way more dialog, then I believe this would be not only a superb story but one that showcases this author’s amazing imagination just as it deserves to be.

I enjoyed Elemental Ride, but I was always aware that it could have been so much more.

Cover art by Natasha Snow is hot and works for the story.  Loved it.

Sales Links

Less Than Three Press



Book Details:

ebook, 65 pages
Published November 8th 2016 by Less Than Three Press
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Barb Advent Calendar Review – Day 3: Anyplace Else (2016 Advent Calendar – Bah Humbug) by Kim Fielding


Rating: 5 stars out of 5

anyplace-else-by-kim-fieldingGrant Beaudoin is a mid-thirties, middle manager in a middle class area of Minneapolis. No love interest now or in the recent past, he’s sort of floating along in life. When his twin brother meets and falls head over heels in love with a guy from Croatia, Grant is envious but not really interested in pursuing a man of his own.  Everything in his life is simple until he arrives in Hawaii for his brother’s wedding, and his life takes a turn into the bizarre.

Leaving the bar one afternoon, he strolls into the rain forest and becomes fascinated with a huge oak tree and the man who appears before him, practically out of thin air! The man tells a tale of ancient gods who live, die, and are reborn around the solstice every year.  He’s so intrigued, in fact, that he goes back the next night and actually witnesses the event of which the man told him. Profoundly impacted by the tale and by what he witnesses, he decides to make a change in his life—a change that will lead him on a new and unexpected path into a very different future than he ever dreamed of. 

I have to say this first: Kim Fielding is, without a doubt, an impressive author with an imagination as big as the great outdoors. Every time I pick up one of her books, I’m amazed at the variety and scope of her work, the emotions she evokes, and the characters she creates.  This is a short Advent Calendar story, and yet it felt as if it were a full-length novel encompassing all the plot complexities a lengthy novel can contain.

Be sure to add this one to your holiday shopping list for yourself and those you know might enjoy a short story that packs a huge punch. 

Cover art by Paul Richmond is hilarious and perfect for the holiday cover.

Sales Links




Book Details:

ebook, 33 pages
Published December 1st 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series2016 Advent Calendar – Bah Humbug

Charlie Cochrane on Writing Historicals and her holiday release ‘Wild Bells’ (guest blog)



Wild Bells by Charlie Cochrane

Purchase at  7104e-waxcreative-amazon-kindle


Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Charlie Cochrane. one of our favorite authors, here today to share with our readers about writing historicals and her latest release, Wild Bells. Welcome, Charlie.


Why does “blizzard” make Charlie twitch?

The word “blizzard” makes me shudder. Not because I’ve ever been stuck out in one (although we did once have the most horrendous snow affected car journey) but because I used it in speech in the first edition of my Regency, “The Shade on a Fine Day”.  Now, it sounds a nice old word, doesn’t it? You can imagine King Lear blethering on about blizzards on the blasted heath. It isn’t. It’s late Victorian and comes from North America so my nice, gay Regency curate couldn’t have used it, unless he actually coined the word and it then somehow crossed the Atlantic.  Having the book come out in a revised edition has allowed me to correct my error!

I have to admit that no readers have ever taken me to task for this mistake, because it’s not an obvious blooper, but I know, which is quite sufficient. Sometimes authors are their own hardest critics. I hate getting anything wrong in my historicals, although things do slip through and my wonderful editors usually catch those, but the odd bit of stuff creeps into the final text, usually because something sounds old and isn’t.

Writing historicals can be a tricky business. To start with, that a lot of the challenge lies in the conscientious author’s head. If we didn’t care about getting things right, we could just plough on, putting the sound of Big Ben’s chimes into a Regency or letting our Victorian hero eat Jelly Babies, not checking dates and times and brands and all the other things which keep authors awake at night. We have to remember to get our men to raise their hats to a lady, to dress for dinner and to use the right words.

There is also a cadence and a rhythm to language, which makes some historicals (be they novels, films or tv programmes) sound out of kilter. I’d say to any aspirant historical writer to read things from the era they’re looking at. Novels, newspapers, plays, anything to get a feel for the words and the way they were used.

Now, there’s always the argument that says that the past isn’t so different from now. People haven’t changed, not matter what people say about the (surely imaginary) “good old days”, when everyone was decent and honest. I’m sure Ham, Shem and Japhet probably cheated at Ludo to get one over on Noah. I was recently reading about two Irish forwards dumping a Welsh rugby player into the crowd during the game, leaving him with nasty injuries including a couple of fractured ribs. Back in 1999? No. Back in 1899.

Human nature remains recognisable, even if the experiences and social conditions which play such a part in moulding people are different according to the time and place where they were raised. So getting it right in the story isn’t just a matter of language or customs, it’s about attitudes and expectations. I recently heard a keynote speech (at the Queer Company event) which illustrated the huge differences between the Regency era – the sort of period in which both the Wild Bells stories are set) and the Victorian age, and how that transformation had come about due to a number of factors such as movement into cities and economic changes. Fascinating stuff, all of which was new to me, even if I knew about the consequences.

The past has a wonderful capacity to surprise us; and sometimes it catches us out.

Wild Bells – Two stories by Charlie Cochrane

The Shade on a Fine Day:
Curate William Church may set the hearts of the parish’s young ladies aflame, but he doesn’t want their affection or presents, no matter how much they want to give them to him. He has his sights set elsewhere, for a love he’s not allowed to indulge. One night, eight for dinner at the Canon’s table means the potential arrival of a ghost. But what message will the spirit bring and which of the young men around the table is it for?

The Angel in the Window:
Two officers, one ship, one common enemy.
Alexander Porterfield may be one of the rising stars of the British navy, but his relationship with his first lieutenant, Tom Anderson, makes him vulnerable. To blackmail, to anxieties about exposure—and to losing Tom, either in battle or to another ship. When danger comes more from the English than the French, where should a man turn?


About the Author

As Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes. Her favourite genre is gay fiction, sometimes historical (sometimes hysterical) and usually with a mystery thrown into the mix.

She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, and International Thriller Writers Inc., with titles published by Carina, Samhain, Bold Strokes Books, Lethe, MLR, and Riptide. She regularly appears with The Deadly Dames and is on the organising team for UK Meet.

To sign up for her newsletter, email her at cochrane.charlie2@googlemail.com, or catch her at: