A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Trailer Trash by Marie Sexton and John Solo (Narrator)

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

trailer-trash-audioIt’s 1986, and what should have been the greatest summer of Nate Bradford’s life goes sour when his parents suddenly divorce. Now, instead of spending his senior year in his hometown of Austin, Texas, he’s living with his father in Warren, Wyoming, population 2,833 (and Nate thinks that might be a generous estimate). There’s no swimming pool, no tennis team, no mall—not even any MTV. The entire school’s smaller than his graduating class back home, and in a town where the top teen pastimes are sex and drugs, Nate just doesn’t fit in.

Then Nate meets Cody Lawrence. Cody’s dirt-poor, from a broken family, and definitely lives on the wrong side of the tracks. Nate’s dad says Cody’s bad news. The other kids say he’s trash. But Nate knows Cody’s a good kid who’s been dealt a lousy hand. In fact, he’s beginning to think his feelings for Cody go beyond friendship.

Admitting he might be gay is hard enough, but between small-town prejudices and the growing AIDS epidemic dominating the headlines, a town like Warren, Wyoming, is no place for two young men to fall in love.

I well remember the eighties. I know I’m dating myself, but as my reviewer name says, I’m a zany old lady. I got that way from living through those eighties. Just kidding. But I do have a very close friend who realized he was gay in his early teens and couldn’t tell anyone in our small, homophobic hometown. He visited Chicago with his twin brother and a friend when he was eighteen and when he graduated from high school, he took what I now know was a courageous leap of faith and moved there alone. He’s been with his partner since the mid-eighties and I can recall keeping him in my prayers when the AIDS crisis peaked.

This is a young adult story featuring two young men, Cody and Nate, who I totally fell in love with. Their story made me think of my friend all while I was reading. Each had a different family background and set of circumstances, yet fate brought them together at a time when gay men were still in hiding in most of the states, and most definitely in a rural territory in Wyoming. There are so many very, very sad times in this story. It’s definitely not fluff. But it’s also not something that I would pass up, no matter how tough it got. Marie Sexton never fails to reach down deep in my gut and wrench up all the feels I try to keep hidden, and she does it with such finesse, I can easily forgive her.

John Solo’s narration was spot on. Two weeks later and I can still hear their voices and feel their pain, and of course, their moments of joy. Cody and Nate’s story is not to be missed and the audiobook format is wonderful.

Cover art by Jay Aheer is poignant and quite wonderful.

Sales Links

Riptide Publishing

Audiobook Details:

Listening Length: 9 hours and 43 minutes
Audible Audio, 10 pages

Published October 19th 2016 by Riptide Publishing (first published March 21st 2016)
Edition Language English

An Alisa Audiobook Review: Dirty Little Secret (Cabin For Two Series) by Freddy MacKay and Michael Pauley (Narrator)

Rating:  3 stars out of 5


dirty-little-secretErik decides geocaching is the best way to heal himself after work and personal problems overwhelm him, but the trip goes horribly wrong. Falling down the side of a mountain deters Erik’s plans for a quick cache find, but his rescuer is the one person who may be able to save Erik in more ways than he can imagine.


This was a nice story, if a bit depressing at times.  Erik’s life has turned to crap, finding out his lover was married and is now his boss just seems to get worse.  He doesn’t know where to turn for help, so he decides to spend some time alone with his thoughts.  Turns out it brings him to the steps of a friend and colleague, Jonah.


This story is told from Erik’s point of view and he is wallowing in self pity.  He hasn’t had anyone to turn to since he found out about Jerry’s lying.  Erik feels that he has to keep Jonah at arms length even when he is helping him recover.  When Jonah finally tells Erik all he had done to try and win Erik over without flat out saying anything, he is speechless.  I just wish we could have seen these two when they are together in the future.


Michael Pauley did a good job narrating this story.  I could connect with the characters through the voices and emotions he portrayed.  Even though this is a book I have read it gave me a new connection to the story listening to him.


Cover art is nice and catches your eye.


Sales Links: Mischief Corner Books | Audible | Amazon | iTunes


Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 2 hrs 16 min
Published: October 28, 2016 (ebook, published September 21, 2013) by MCB
Edition Language: English

An Alisa Advent Calendar Review Day 8: Of Mooning Santas and Penis Lights by Thianna Durston

Rating:  3 stars out of 5


of-mooning-santas-and-penis-lightsFormer US Marine John Ving hates everything about holiday displays: they’re tacky, they waste energy, and they’re an eyesore. So what does his new neighbor do? He sets up the holiday spectacle from hell, and he doesn’t seem to care which holiday—he has a menorah, a baby Jesus, a Santa, and everything in between. Not to mention it’s swathed in enough lights his house is probably visible from space.


High-school teacher Kaden Melling loves the holidays, and huge light displays on his lawn make his heart glow. He’d love to share some cheer—and maybe some kinky fun—with his smoking hot neighbor John. Odd things start to happen to his displays, but just as he begins to think life is going his way, with the holidays and with John, a Grinch destroys everything.


It’s gonna take the display-hating John to set things right—and what he has planned might blow Kaden’s mind.


John hates the holidays, but gets forced into decorating his own house when he loses a game to his nephew.  For the first time in years he actually puts a tree up when his nephews end up staying with him for a few days.  It takes a visit from his ex to realize what it is he really didn’t like about the holidays.


Kaden is absolutely adorable and trying to keep his mother’s spirit alive with decorating and baking for the holidays.  His brightness melts John a bit and I love how John is able to let his walls down for Kaden.  I hurt for Kaden when someone steals his decorations and stomps on his Christmas spirit, but John won’t let that stop Kaden from having the Christmas he deserves.

Cover art by Paul Richmond.  Advent series cover. Hilarious

Sales Links





Book Details:

ebook, 39 pages

Published: December 8, 2016 by Dreamspinner Press

Edition Language: English

Blitz and Giveaway – KC Wells’ Saving Jason

Saving Jason – K.C. Wells

Author: K.C. Wells
Length: 31,300 words
Cover Design: Meredith Russell

When David Merrow is given the task of finding a suitable soup kitchen so his company can improve their PR, he realizes he needs help. He turns to Jason Garton, the owner of the coffee house that David visits every morning. Funny how it took David so long to notice all the food and beverages Jason gives away to the homeless. Because until then, Jason had been almost invisible.

But the more David learns about him, the more intrigued he becomes. There’s something about the selfless, lonely older man that pulls David in, and what began as work becomes so much more.

Author Bio

Born and raised in the north-west of England, K.C. WELLS always loved writing. Words were important. Full stop. However, when childhood gave way to adulthood, the writing ceased, as life got in the way. K.C. discovered erotic fiction in 2009, when the purchase of a ménage storyline led to the startling discovery that reading about men in love was damn hot. In 2012, arriving at a really low point in life led to the desperate need to do something creative. An even bigger discovery waited in the wings—writing about men in love was even hotter….

K.C. now writes full-time and is loving every minute of her new career. The laptop still has no idea of what hit it… it only knows that it wants a rest, please. And it now has to get used to the idea that where K.C goes, it goes.

And as for those men in love that she writes about? The list of stories just waiting to be written is getting longer… and longer….


K.C. loves to hear from readers.
E-mail: k.c.wells@btinternet.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KCWellsWorld
Twitter: @K_C_Wells
Website: http://www.kcwellsworld.com


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E.J. Russell on Characters and their release ‘Clickbait’ by E.J. Russell (guest post and giveaway)


Clickbait by E.J. Russell
iptide Publishing
Cover art by L.C. Chase

Read an Excerpt/Buy it Here


Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have E.J. Russell here today talking about Gideon, one of the characters in Clickbait and the Geeklandia series.  Welcome, E.J.!


Gideon: A Peek Before Clickbait

Clickbait is actually the second book in my Geeklandia series about a group of friends in Portland—roommates Charlie, Gideon, and Lindsay, their sidecar friend Toshiko—and their search for romance, wherein geeks pair with non-geeks, much to everyone’s astonishment. Gideon, one of the co-heroes of Clickbait, made his grand entrance in the first book, Lost in Geeklandia, where he helps his BFF Charlie overcome her gawkitude and land her man. (Charlie appears in Clickbait as well, as do Toshiko and Lindsay—who’s the sister of Gideon’s co-hero, Alex.)

This is a deleted scene from Lost in Geeklandia, where Gideon (in his Noel Coward-inspired red brocade dressing gown) tries to prep Charlie for her next interaction with her childhood friend and later nemesis, Daniel (whom Gideon refers to as He-man). She has thirty days to turn Daniel into her boyfriend or lose the chance at her dream job—and the clock is ticking.

Gideon tapped his fork on the empty Tupperware bowl. “Attention, please. Back to He-man. Tell me you at least managed a good-night kiss.”

Charlie’s cheeks heated as if she’d dry-roasted them along with the peanuts in the snack smorgasbord. “Of course I didn’t. We’re talking about Daniel Shawn. It would be easier for me to manage a good-night kiss from Chris Pine.”

“Charles, Charles, Charles. Whatever am I going to do with you? Stop thinking of him as a threat and think of him as an opportunity.” He popped off the barstool. “Let’s SWOT this.”

Lindsay stopped mashing avocado and wiped her forehead with the back of one wrist, her expression troubled. “I know you’re trying to help, Gideon, but do you really think it’s okay for Charlie to hit Daniel?”

He patted her cheek. “S-W-O-T, darling, not S-W-A-T. Strength, weakness, opportunity, threat. Standard management exercise, as Charles would know if she’d taken any business classes amid all the technobabble.”

“It’s hard to take you seriously as a management consultant when you’re dressed like Raul Julia as Gomez Addams,” Charlie grumbled.

“Gomez wore a smoking jacket, not a dressing gown. Stop focusing on inconsequentials.”

Gideon plucked the magnetized dry erase marker off the refrigerator and slashed a grid on the whiteboard they used for their grocery list. In giant letters, he scrawled an S and a W across the top row. “This represents your internal organization. Whatever you perceive as your own.” He added an O and a T down the left side. “This represents the Other. The outer world. Things you don’t control.”

“I’m not sure I control anything.”

“Stop it. See.” He pointed to each letter with the marker. “Strength. Weakness. Opportunity. Threat. Your weakness is this unaccountable need you have to hide your talents under a virtual bushel. Your strengths are legion, but when it comes to Daniel, you forget that you are a smart woman and act like a freaking moron.”

Charlie glared at him. “Don’t you have a hot date to get to?”

Gideon’s gaze flew to the clock above the sink. “God. I’m late. Only concern about your sex life could distract me from my own.” He smacked the marker back on the refrigerator. “Think about it. There’ll be a test later.”

He disappeared down the hall in a billow of red satin.

About Clickbait

After the disastrous ending of his first serious relationship, Gideon Wallace cultivated a protective—but fabulously shiny—outer shell to shield himself from Heartbreak 2.0. Besides, romance is so not a priority for him right now. All his web design prospects have inexplicably evaporated, and to save his fledgling business, he’s been compelled to take a hands-on hardware project—as in, his hands on screwdrivers, soldering irons, and needle-nosed pliers. God. Failure could actually be an option.

Journeyman electrician Alex Henning is ready to leave Gideon twisting in the wind after their run-ins both on and off the construction site. Except, like a fool, he takes pity on the guy and offers to help. Never mind that between coping with his dad’s dementia and clocking all the overtime he can finagle, he has zero room in his life for more complications.

Apparently, an office build-out can lay the foundation for a new relationship. Who knew? But before Alex can trust Gideon with the truth about his fragile family, he has to believe that Gideon’s capable of caring about more than appearances. And Gideon must learn that when it comes to the heart, it’s content—not presentation—that matters.

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

About E.J. Russell

E.J. Russell holds a BA and an MFA in theater, so naturally she’s spent the last three decades as a financial manager, database designer, and business-intelligence consultant. After her twin sons left for college and she no longer spent half her waking hours ferrying them to dance class, she returned to her childhood love of writing fiction. Now she wonders why she ever thought an empty nest meant leisure.

E.J. lives in rural Oregon with her curmudgeonly husband, the only man on the planet who cares less about sports than she does. She enjoys visits from her wonderful adult children, and indulges in good books, red wine, and the occasional hyperbole.

Connect with E.J.:

Website: ejrussell.com
Blog: ejrussell.com/bloggery/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/E.J.Russell.author
Twitter: twitter.com/ej_russell
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ejrussell/



To celebrate the release of Clickbait, one lucky winner will receive $25 in Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 10, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Venona Keys Talks Inspiration, Short Stories and the Anthology ‘Once Upon a Time in the Weird West’ (Dreamspinner Press guest post and giveaway)


Once Upon a Time in the Weird West
by Langley Hyde , Astrid Amara , Ginn Hale , Nicole Kimberling ,
C.S. Poe, Lex Chase , Venona Keyes , Tali Spence

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have  Venona Keyes here today to talk about her short story and the inspiration behind it in the Dreamspinner anthology Once Upon a Time in the Weird West.  Welcome, Venona!


Short Story Title: POMH byVenona Keyes

When people ask, “What inspired you to write this story?” It’s usually a song or a human interest  story or a news event.  For the Weird West, my inspiration was the movie Bicentennial Man and The Jetsons. Really? In a steam-punky inspired story, I drew upon those things? Yes, in an old fashioned way.

A re-imagined West, one where a new mechanical revolution was the norm. Tracks laid down  by steam powered machines; built not just for a train, but for individual carriages or wagon carriages. I could see people zooming by (actually steaming by), to escape the confines of the crowded and polluted East, to conquer the wild open spaces of the West. To spread out and make a fortune, or a better life.
Inventors were key to this expansion. They were much like what blacksmiths were back in the day; a valuable member of the community who helped build the community with metal items.  Inventors in this west make mechanical items while the blacksmiths still made metal items; horseshoes, wagon wheels, hinges, door knockers, and weapons.

Inventors were the craftsman of machines that made life easier.  No matter where you were on the economic ladder, you had at least one item made by an inventor.   Some of these items were steam-powered baby prams,  child corrallers, tree fruit harvesters, and horseless carriages to name a few.  As you got up in the social and monied classes, the disposable income went to a more frivolous or luxurious type item, like gilded mechanical flying birds, encrusted with jewels and ivory. The ingenuity of the item was only limited by the imagination of the inventor.
In POMH, the main character, Lorem Farcome, is in dire need of an assistant. He no longer wants a human assistant, but one that is steam powered.  He dreamed and designed it, and with a find of a rare prism, he can make his dream come true.  Jealousy and envy prove to be a big stumbling blocks, as another, more monied and more powerful inventor has his sights on taking the creation, Pomh, from Lorem.

Have you ever had a dream come true, and was the path to the dream an easy or hard one?  Or, what has inspired you to achieve something you always wanted to do, and you did it?  Comment to enter into the Rafflecopter!

POHM Blurb:

Lorem Farcome makes inventions that cater to the working class. He dreams of a lost chance in love and a lost apprentice. The lost love he can do nothing about, but an apprentice, he can surely build. With a rare red prism, Lorem creates and animates his assistant, dubbing him “Pomh.” The road never runs smooth, and a wealthy and powerful competitor, Markus Reighn, accuses Lorem of stealing the red prism and claims Lorem’s mechanical man for himself. But an odd-looking

About Once Upon a Time in the Weird West Anthology

This isn’t the same old Wild West. The usual suspects are all present: cowboys, outlaws, and sheriffs. There’s plenty of dust, tumbleweeds, horses, and cattle on the range, but there are also magical gems, automatons, elementals, airships… even dinosaurs and genetically modified insects. Roaming among the buffalo and coyotes, you’ll encounter skinwalkers, mad engineers, mythical beings cloaked in darkness, and lovers who stay true to their oaths… even beyond the grave. On this frontier are those at the mercy of their own elaborate devices as well as men whose control of time and space provides a present-day vision of the West. There might even be a dragon hidden amongst the ghost towns and wagon trains.

If you like your Westerns with a splash of magic, a touch of steampunk, and plenty of passionate romance between men, these genre-bending tales will exceed expectations.

Hold on to your hats, cowboys and cowgirls. The West is about to get weird, and you’re in for a hell of a ride.

Purchase Links



About the Author

Venona Keyes is a modern woman who believes in doing it all; if doing it all is only in her head. She amazes people that she can be wholly unorganized yet pack a perfect carry on suitcase for a ten day trip to Paris. Ms. Keyes is a believer in the just in time theory, and can be seen sprinting in airports to the gate before the plane door closes.

Venona has experienced love and loss at the deepest level, and is thankful for writing and daydreaming, for it kept, and still keeps her sane. Writing also introduced her to some of the most supportive and wonderful people, to which she will always be grateful.

Venona is a voracious reader, loves her feline boys, volunteers at an animal shelter, attempts to cook everything in her CSA boxes, is an accomplished speaker, is a seasoned triathlete, and enjoys swimming, biking, hiking, skipping, dancing, and her beloved overgrown garden.

Social Media links

Website: http://www.venonakeyes.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/venona.keyes


1) Steam-punk inspired heart shaped pendant necklace

2) Title: The Trust,  Coming of Age, and All Steamed Up Anthology

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Blog Tour Schedule

12/6 – Gay Book Reviews – Jana Denardo

12/7 – The Novel Approach – Kim Fielding

12/8 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words – Venona Keyes

12/9 – Diverse Reader – Tali Spencer

Sinfully Gay MM Book Reviews – Jamie Fessenden

12/12 – Love Bytes – Lex Chase

12/13 – Boy Meets Boy – Astrid Amara

12/14 – Prism Book Alliance – Ginn Hale

12/15 – Alpha Book Club – C.S. Poe

12/16 – Joyfully Jay – Langley Hyde

12/19 – Divine Magazine – Nicole Kimberling

12/20 – My Fiction Nook – Shira Anthony

Open Skye – Andrew Q. Gordon

Riptide Publishing Tour and Giveaway: Glass Tidings (2016 Holiday Charity Bundle) by Amy Jo Cousins


Glass Tidings (2016 Holiday Charity Bundle) by Amy Jo Cousins
iptide Publishing
Cover art by L.C. Chase

Read an Excerpt/Buy It Here

About Glass Tidings

Eddie Rodrigues doesn’t stay in one place long enough to get attached. The only time he broke that rule, things went south fast. Now he’s on the road again, with barely enough cash in his pocket to hop a bus to Texas after his (sort-of-stolen) car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, Midwest, USA.

He’s fine. He’ll manage. Until he watches that girl get hit by a car and left to die.

Local shop owner Grayson Croft isn’t in the habit of doing people any favors. But even a recluse can’t avoid everyone in a town as small as Clear Lake. And when the cop who played Juliet to your Romeo in the high school play asks you to put up her key witness for the night, you say yes.

Now Gray’s got a grouchy glass artist stomping around his big, empty house, and it turns out that he . . . maybe . . . kind of . . . likes the company.

But Eddie Rodrigues never sticks around.

Unless a Christmas shop owner who hates the season can show an orphan what it means to have family for the holidays.

Available from Riptide Publishing. http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/glass-tidings

About Amy Jo Cousins

Amy Jo Cousins writes contemporary romance and erotica about smart people finding their own best kind of smexy. She lives in Chicago with her son, where she tweets too much, sometimes runs really far, and waits for the Cubs to win the World Series.

Connect with Amy Jo:



To celebrate the release of Glass Tidings, one lucky winner will receive $20 in Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 10, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!