A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Jesse’s Christmas by RJ Scott

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

jesses-christmas-by-rj-scottJesse Connor lost everything at Christmas two years ago: his home, his career, and his future husband. But it wasn’t to death—it was to deceit. The man he had planned to propose to on Christmas Eve, the financial guru who managed all their savings and was a Wall Street whiz, was arrested for embezzling millions of dollars. Before he left, though, he stole all of Jesse’s money as well as all his award winning photographs. It’s taken Jesse two years to even try to agree to attempt a comeback, and if it wasn’t for the persistence of his agent, he’d never have taken a photo gig in the wilds of Vermont in December.

There he meets Gabriel McLury, a young man who loves his life, including his mom, his town, his arts & crafts, his job as a teacher, and the kids who make his life complete every single day. At first, Jesse is physically attracted to Gabriel, but still reluctant to try to find enough Christmas spirit to fulfill his photo contract with the small town of Eden Vale. But Gabriel shows him a new perspective, and over the course of the month of Jesse’s photo journal of the town’s Christmas preparations, Jesse’s frozen heart starts to thaw, and an inkling of the Christmas spirit, he once thought lost for good, returns tenfold.

This is a heartwarming story—romantic, sweet, and comforting with endearing characters and the perfect Christmas story setting. Being witness to Jesse’s evolving Christmas spirit will put a smile on the face of everyone, including Ebenezer himself. A standalone, this book can be read any time of the year, but anyone with a holiday wish list should be sure to add it at the top.

Cover art by Meredith Russell depicts two young men against a brown-tinted background. To be honest, they may look like the characters, but the story itself is all about color, especially the cerulean blue of Gabriel’s eyes, so it’s not a cover that truly reflects the goodness within the pages.

Sales Links

Amazon (US)  |  Amazon (UK)  |  All Romance  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  Smashwords  |  iTunes

Book Details:

ebook, Second edition, rewritten, new cover art
Published December 22nd 2013 by Love Lane Books (first published December 23rd 2011)
ISBN139781311020017
URLhttp://rjscottauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2011/10/jesses-christmas.html

An Alisa Review: One Too Many (Mystic Tattoos #1) by Bailey Bradford

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

one-too-manyDon’t discount the mystic powers in the world…

 

Casey has spent most of his adult life building a successful business. His mother has been on him to settle down with a good man. Casey would, but he hasn’t had time to look for one. On his fortieth birthday, he goes out with friends and gets drunk—and has one too many.

 

When he wakes up in the morning, there’s a sexy, strange man in his home and a new, kind of painful tattoo on Casey’s chest. He doesn’t remember what happened the night before, but it doesn’t take him long to realize that the stranger, Ed, is someone he wants to get to know much better.

 

Now, if the fates and stars and all that mystical stuff will align, Casey and Ed might have their Happily Ever After, with the help of a mysterious tattoo artist and a vanishing tattoo shop.

 

This story was an interesting concept and turned out to be one that I liked.  Ed was Casey’s Uber ride home after his fortieth birthday celebration with friends.  Casey doesn’t remember much of the night, but has a permanent reminder in the form of a tattoo on his chest and the opportunity to have something meaningful with Ed.

 

In this story we see both characters’ points of view which helps understand what they are feeling and thinking.  Casey has basically been a workaholic for the last decade to get his business going, but he sees an opportunity with Ed that may make him change his ways.  Ed is afraid to push too far, but knows what he wants.  The genie that initially and finally brings them together is interesting.  I kinda wish there would have been a bit more of the story for him and how the characters really grew their relationship.

 

The cover art is nice and catches your eye.

 

Sales Links: Pride Publishing | Amazon

 

Book Details:

ebook, 70 pages

Published: November 29, 2016 by Pride Publishing

ISBN: 9781786515162

Edition Language: English

A Lila Audiobook Review: Good Boy (Theta Alpha Gamma #4) by Anne Tenino and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

good-boy-audiobookBrad “Frat Boy” Feller and Sebastian “Toppy” DeWitt have been together for nine months, and their relationship is as hot as ever. The only cloud Brad sees on their horizon is Sebastian’s stress over his thesis. And their uncertain future together after graduation. And how Sebastian sometimes takes Brad for granted. And Sebastian’s unwillingness to introduce Brad to his father.

Other than that, everything’s awesome.

All of Sebastian’s energy is currently devoted to his thesis, and getting into a top-notch PhD program. Fortunately, his boyfriend takes care of all the domestic stuff and Sebastian’s needs. Any minor strain between them will disappear and they’ll return to the status quo after Sebastian graduates. As long as nothing upsets their delicate balance in the meantime.

Then a friend Brad once had a small fling with is forced to take refuge with them, and Frat Boy and Toppy’s delicate balance topples like an elephant on a waterski. Now Sebastian has to face some truths about how he’s been treating Brad, what he wants for their future, and what he has to do to get it.

Good Boy is a BDSM snippet done right. I read Frat Boy and Toppy back in 2013, and really enjoyed Brad’s & Sebastian’s story. Seeing them again in the other books was good, but having them back, in their own story, was more than I expected.

I listen to this story shortly after finishing Sweet Young Thang. That was a plus since we get to see the pivotal scene in this book from Collin’s perspective in the previous book. It’s almost like seeing the whole thing again from a movie-like point of view. The events are simple but essential to their relationship, and the way Sebastian and Brad take care of each other is priceless.

This is a very short, very well-written story with adorable characters. Yes, Sebastian is back in his “bitchy mood,” but just like before, Brad brings out the best in him. It was nice to see that their happily ever after still true.

Nick J. Russo, as always, brought all the characters back to life. The consistency within the series is part of the appeal. He gives Sebastian’s state of mind the perfect tone, and Brad’s concerns the perfect outlet.

L.C. Chase caught the heart of the story with a simple cover and adapted it for the audiobook version.

Sales Links:  Riptide | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Nick J. Russo
Length: 1 hours and 55 minutes

Published: November 1, 2016 (Audio Edition) by Riptide Publishing
ASIN: B01MDRYNF3
Edition Language: English

Series:  Theta Alpha Gamma
Book #1: Frat Boy and Toppy
Book #2: Love, Hypothetically
Book #3: Sweet Young Thang
Book #4: Good Boy

 

Sean Michael on Holiday Traditions and his latest release ‘Add Love and Mix’ (guest blog)

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Add Love and Mix by Sean Michael
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reamspinner Press
Cover art by

Available for Purchase at

        

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Sean Michael here sharing his thoughts on holiday traditions and his latest release, Add Love and Mix.  Welcome, Sean and Happy Holidays.

Holiday Traditions by Sean Michael

Most people have traditions around this time of year, even if they don’t celebrate Christmas or another specific holiday. Jason and Scott spend every Christmas Day working because they don’t have kids and believe the folks that do ought to have the day off. Then they spend the day after Christmas with Scott’s family. At least, that’s their Christmas tradition until Kerry comes along. Holiday traditions are just one of the many things that change for them at that point.

I have some traditions that I’ve shared with my family since I was little, and some new ones that I’ve developed since moving out. We have always celebrated both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, honoring the Danish and Canadian sides of the family. We’ve always done a ‘family’ Christmas on a separate day if we’re traveling to visit relatives on Christmas itself.

Some of my new holiday traditions include visiting BA and Julia every November for Thanksgiving. I do a bunch of different cookies to give away every year and the number of people I give them away to has somehow grown a little every year. I put up my outside decorations on December 1 (or close to it if the weather is bad on the 1st). And I make lists and do my very best to make sure that I have all my shopping done well before Christmas Day. That last one is only three years old, but I’m liking it more every year.

I love hearing about other people’s traditions, so please share yours!

Sean

smut fixes everything

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Add Love And Mix

Firefighter Jason Weller and EMT Scott Bronson are living the perfect life. They work together in jobs they love, they live together, and in their downtime, they still can’t get enough of each other. It’s been six amazing years. Then on Christmas Eve, Jase’s former lover Elsa shows up with a six-year-old girl in tow. The strung-out junkie claims Kerry is Jase’s daughter and it’s his turn to care for her, and then she walks out.

Shocked at both the fact that Elsa is now a junkie, and that he has a daughter he never knew about, Jase nonetheless steps up to the plate as her father, and Scott offers his full support. Having an instant family comes with plenty of challenges, and the two men work to deal with sweeping changes in their lives and to make things right for Kerry.

It’s not going to be easy, and their new circumstances test them and their relationship like nothing ever has. They’ll need all the love they have for each other, and the love they discover for their daughter, to keep from breaking apart.

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About the Author

Best-selling author Sean Michael is a maple leaf–loving Canadian who spends hours hiding out in used book stores. With far more ideas than time, Sean keeps several documents open at all times. From romance to fantasy, paranormal and sci-fi, Sean is limited only by the need for sleep—and the periodic Beaver Tail.

Sean fantasizes about one day retiring on a secluded island populated entirely by horseshoe crabs after inventing a brain-to-computer dictation system. Until then, Sean will continue to write the old-fashioned way.

Sean Michael on the web:

Tis the Season for Giving ~ Check out the ‘Love Wins Anthology for Charity and the Tray Ellis Interview

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Love Wins Anthology
Publisher:Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 16, 2016

Available at

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Contributing Authors: Lucie Archer , Kris T. Bethke, Deja Black, M.A. Church,
David C. Dawson , Jana Denardo , Nicole Dennis , Julie Lynn Hayes  , Jude Dunn , Xenia Melzer,
Grace R. Duncan , L.A. Merrill, Ravon Silvius , Renee Stevens , Alicia Nordwell, Troy Storm , Tray Ellis

~An Interview with Tray Ellis~

Hi, I’m Tray Ellis.  I have a short story called “Prevailing Zzz’s” in the Love Wins charity anthology. Today I’m visiting here at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.  I have a few interview questions that challenged me to be introspective, and following after that is information on the anthology and my story.

  • Where do you normally draw your inspiration for a book from?  A memory, a myth, a place or journey, or something far more personal?

Inspiration for me comes from every day events and people.  I might have a conversation with someone, or overhear a snippet of dialogue in a store, and it occurs to me that the subject would make a very good topic for a story. It is exciting when that happens. The feel of inspiration is a thrill.  I jot the ideas down as soon as I can, mull them over, and pick and choose which ones will resonate. 

  • Are you a planner or a pantzer when writing a story? And  why?

Definitely a planner! Although there are always elements of ‘I’ll figure it out when I get there”, I like to go for long walks and really think about the story and the characters. I do hold a lot of it in my head rather than try to write it all down in an outline.

  • 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?

Generally contemporary, but with supernatural elements. Ever since I learned the term “magical realism”, I’ve known how to name what I like to write most, and read the most as well. I love writing contemporary stories with something out of the ordinary. I think most of us want our lives to be extraordinary, and it is fun to imagine special ways to make that happen to characters.

  • 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?

This question really made me think, but I’m going to say that I wouldn’t.  There’s something about a character that once development ends, and the story is over, that they feel entirely separate and their own selves.  I suppose there could always be additional information discovered about them. Why do they love something? Or fear something? But to go back and fundamentally change them would be to pull a thread out of a fabric.  You can try to fix it by meticulously pulling the loose thread back in. You can go on wearing the garment, but it never looks quite as nice. It’s always in danger of unraveling again.

  • Can a author have favorites among their characters and do you have them?

Absolutely. It’s hard not to.  Sometimes it is the immediacy of writing about the character.  I might like whomever best that I’m currently considering and typing up in the story. Then, when I shift on to a different portion of the story and spend time with a different character, I might become fond of them.  I suppose it makes me sound a little fickle! But, honestly, even the villains of the story are going to have elements of the author in them, so you’re going to like them just a little.

  • 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?

I actually still travel with real books in my backpack. I like real paper, even though I love electronic reading as well. I always want to have something with me in case I need to settle down and wait for a time.  I have bookshelves stuffed with books I’ve read and when I go to pick them out, as I run my fingers over the spines, I remember the stories told within.  Some of the ones I grab the most often:  Dracula by Bram Stoker, Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, any of the Stephanie Plum books, and Witch Week by Diana Wynne Jones. These are worlds that I enjoyed traveling through again and again.

  • How early in your life did you begin writing?

I wrote adventure stories as early as elementary school with my friends.  In middle school, I started writing stories on my own. One of the best compliments I’ve received was because a friend showed my stories to her mom, and she wanted to read more of my stuff even then!

  • 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 read to as a child, and we went to the library as a family. Libraries are amazing, and I often borrowed as many books as I was allowed. I loved mystery stories.  I read through the Bobbsey Twins mysteries and moved on to Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys as I got older. The children’s book that made a serious impact on me was The Big Orange Splot, by Daniel Pinkwater. For such a short story, it’s got a lot of complex things to say about differentness, conformity, and being our truest selves. 

  • What question would you ask yourself here?

I thought of about a dozen questions, but one of the better ones was: If you could choose to hear one thing about the stories you write, what would it be?

That I made the reader smile or laugh. I’m not a straight-out comedic writer, so my words aren’t going to make a reader guffaw until tears roll down their cheeks, but I do like to tuck amusing and funny little bits into my stories. I find it supremely satisfying when I hear from someone that they had a good chuckle over some irreverent dialogue or an unusual situation.

  • If you were writing your life as a romance novel, what would the title be?

The Constant Heart. This was the toughest question in the bunch!  Like a lot of authors who write in the romance genre, I believe in True Love.  If I can’t find enough of it in real life, I’m going to seek it in the fictional worlds. This constancy is the element that most describes my affections.

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Love Wins Blurb

With time comes healing, but Orlando and the LGBT community are still recovering from last June’s tragedy. To show our ongoing support for those affected by the Orlando shooting, our authors, editors, artists, and staff have volunteered their talents to create this second benefit anthology. All proceeds will be donated to LGBT organizations in central Florida. Join us as we reaffirm that no matter the obstacle, love always wins.

Specific Blurb:

Prevailing Zzz’s by Tray Ellis

After eight months together, Greg wants Win to move in with him. But how can Win agree when Greg’s snoring leaves him sleep-deprived and miserable?

Author Bio

Tray Ellis grew up across from an empty field where she spun a lot of imaginary adventures, helping to prepare her for a lifetime of writing. When she isn’t writing, she keeps busy by hiking, cooking, stacking the odd cord of wood in the shed, baking, and being too busy to keep her home in any semblance of order. Currently she tries to find a balance between the logical way she thinks and the flights of fancy that she often daydreams about.  Mostly, the daydreams are winning.

Tray can be found at the following social media locations:

trayellis.dreamwidth.org

http://www.facebook.com/tray.ellis.54

trayellis.blogspot.com/

twitter.com/TrayEllisWrites