A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Deefur And The Great Mistletoe Incident by RJ Scott

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

deefur-and-the-great-mistletoe-incidentUnfortunately, I didn’t read Deefur Dog, and to be honest I don’t know why that is, because it’s been on my TBR since being published. I’ve put in a request to Santa, so we’ll see. But I digress.  This story features the characters from that book a year later. To be honest, though it’s not a standalone, it certainly wasn’t difficult to follow, and it was filled with the warmth, poignancy, and sweetness I always hope to have from a holiday short. 

Cameron and Jason are settled in their relationship, and Cameron’s daughter, Emma, not only accepts Jason, but adores him, and the feeling is mutual.  Their dog Deefur loves him as well, and when Deefur falls ill on Christmas Eve, it’s Jason who pushes to get him to a vet immediately, despite Cameron’s fears of the road conditions.  His first husband was killed on slick roads on Christmas Eve two years before, and on this night of all nights, his fear that he’ll lose Jason is choking him. 

But Deefur’s needs surpass Cameron’s fears and when push comes to shove, Cameron realizes that his love for Jason surpasses everything else, and he may finally be ready to move on. 

How RJ Scott manages to fit in a ton of information and a boatload of feelings in one small short story is beyond me, but she does, and it’s delightful.  Whether you’ve read the first book or not, this one will bring you Christmas cheer. 

The very attractive and cheerful cover features a photo of Deefur and Emma superimposed on a background of holiday lights, mistletoe, and snowflakes.

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RJ Scott

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Book Details:

ebook, 23 pages
Published December 1st 2013 by Love Lane Books

A VVivacious Advent Calendar Review Day 28: Teddy Bears (2016 Advent Calendar – Bah Humbug) by Brandon Witt

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Rating:  5 Stars out of 5
 
teddy-bearsJames Olsen is a handsome bear of a man who visits the bathhouse where Brian works.
 
Brian is a geeky chubby guy who hates Christmas and can’t wait for it to be over. But an accidental meeting with James at a toy store might just have Brian believing in Christmas Miracles.
 
I don’t know why I ever doubted that this story would not be good, I mean it is written by Brandon Witt and for those of you who don’t know the author should seriously consider checking his books out.
 
This story was 49 pages long (according to my reader), in which the effective length of the story after you factor in the blurb, author’s info, publication details and the cover comes out to be 40 pages and in just 40 pages the author had me so caught up in the story that I was crying by the end of it which was so surprising for me. I only cry in stories that really touch me and it is so rare for a short story to do that for me because of the limitation of their length but looks like I have been seriously underestimating short stories.
 
I loved this story because it caught me so off guard there were just so many little things in this story that were just so unique. I am actually finding it very hard to describe this book with my limited vocabulary.
 
This story is lovely, it transcends the holiday spirit and it leaves you with a warm feeling inside. I really don’t want to say anything more for fear of spoilers but know this, this story was awesome.
 
Cover Art by L. C. Chase. I loved the cover which is a depiction of an actual scene in this story and yes, this book does feature Teddy Bear hamsters.
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Book Details:
ebook, 47 pages
Published December 1st 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1635331900 (ISBN13: 9781635331905)
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series2016 Advent Calendar – Bah Humbug

A Stella Release Day Review: Jackass Flats (Riding Cowboy Flats #1) by Julia Talbot

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RATING 2,5 out of 5 stars

jackass-flatsCan a traveling military man and a set-in-his-ways cowboy find a way to make things work?

Tate feels like the best part of life has probably passed him by, which is why the thirtysomething cowboy hits the bars every night. When he meets Dave, a young soldier from a nearby Army base, though, Tate figures things might be looking up. He and Dave get off to a rocky start, but Tate soon finds that he and the kid have enough in common to make things interesting.

Dave isn’t really into the whole don’t ask, don’t tell thing, and he doesn’t bother to hide his relationship with Tate from his friends. Once he realizes he should have been more careful, it might be too late. But Dave is willing to fight for Tate, even if it means taking on the military.

First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2008.

Julia Talbot is one of my comfort authors, some of her shorts are among my fave stories to read when my mind needs time off from RL. That’s one of the reasons why I was enthusiastic to have Jackass Flats in my hands. Plus the  match between a cowboy and a military man intrigued me very much.

That said as soon as I started it, I knew it wasn’t going to be a success to me. I struggled a lot with the reading, I spent days on it (unusual to me) and I often forced myself to reread some parts I missed simple cause the story didn’t caught my attention. I’ll be honest and say if it wasn’t for the blog, I wouldn’t have finished it at all.

I didn’t give it a lower rating just cause I liked the characters, Dave and Tate were sweet, the relationship flew easily and at slow pace,  they took their times and enjoyed real life moments together.

Problem is I found everything so shallow it was annoying. The dialogues, their thoughts, were frustating at hell. And the plot, what was going on with Dave military carrer, left me a little dubious. Then there is one more thing I couldn’t understand, how old is Tate? There is no mention of his age but the author told me he is old a neverending times. And this was another particular that annoyed me. Is he old? Is he feeling old? Can’t I just know it clearly?

It seems I have two words to describe Jackass Flats, annoying and frustating.

The cover art by Bree Archer is the only thing I liked and from it, it seems Tate isn’t so old at the end.

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BOOK DETAILS

ebook, 2nd Edition, 100 pages

Publication date December 28th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press (first published 2008)

ISBN 163477762X (ISBN13: 9781634777629)

Edition Language English

Riding Cowboy Flats series #1

An Ali Release Day Review: Whiskey Business (States of Love) by Avon Gale

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
whiskey-businessRyder Waites will do anything to keep the tiny town of Gallows Grove, Kentucky, from vanishing off the map—even sell his family’s whiskey recipe to Bluegrass Bourbon in Lexington. Hopeful that the larger company can provide necessary improvements to the distillery, Ryder’s ultimate goal is to get Gallows Grove on the Bourbon Trail… and bring in much-needed tourism revenue. But to keep producing Hanged Man Bourbon in Gallows Grove, he’ll have to convince company liaison, unbearably stuffy and seriously hot Adam Keller, that he’s worth the investment.

Adam comes from an old-money family, but he’s determined to make his own way in the world. When he’s sent to Gallows Grove, he questions the life choices that led him to a rented room in a funeral home, in a town full of macabre-themed businesses. And he doesn’t know what to make of Ryder, the descendant of bootleggers who’s on a mission to save his strange town from extinction. When Adam and Ryder put aside their initial mistrust, the results are as smooth as good whiskey. But after Adam’s assignment ends, he’ll have to decide if small-town life and a future with Ryder is to his tastes.
What a fun and entertaining story this was.  I was hooked from the moment these two met.  They immediately dislike each other but are immediately physically attracted to each other and that’s a plotline that I love.  They go back and forth making each other crazy.  One minute they can’t stand each other and are bickering non-stop and then the next they’re struggling to keep from acting on their fantasies.  The sexual tension and chemistry between the two jumps off of the pages. Once they give in to each other, it alternates between sweet scenes of them falling for each other, with steamy scenes that burn up the pages.
As a back drop there is this very quirky town and it’s very quirky inhabitants.  It is so well done I could picture it all in mind.  Complete with pun filled store names.  I could also picture the creepy doll filled room and while I hate dolls, it did lead to some very entertaining scenes.
I really enjoyed this and don’t have any complaints about this book.  I thought it was really well done and a fun, low angst read.  Something I would definitely recommend.
Cover by Aaron Anderson:  I like the cover a lot.  It’s unique and it fits the plot perfectly.
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Book Details:
ebook, 104 pages
Expected publication: December 28th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634778995 (ISBN13: 9781634778992)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesStates of Love settingKentucky (United States)

In the Spotlight: Truth, Pride, Victory, Love by David Connor and E.F. Mulder

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Truth, Pride, Victory, Love by David Connor, E.F. Mulder
Dreamspinner Press

Available for Purchase at

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Hi all! We are happy to be here to answer some questions about writing, in conjunction with the release of our new novel, Truth, Pride, Victory, Love, a story about three boys who discover a love of swimming as they discover themselves and feelings for one another. 

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

E. F.: It depends. Sometimes we like answering a call, like in the recent Dreamspinner Advent “Bah Humbug” where the theme is presented and we work up a story that fits. That can be a lot of fun. “Why would someone not like Christmas? Hmm….” Other times, David will say, “I had this weird dream last night,” and one of us will say, “You know….” When it came to “Truth, Pride, Victory, Love,” well, The Olympics are always a great event to build a story around. It was sort of like we had our theme. What came next was “What sport?” “What’s are the issues that cause the drama?” “What draws Reed toward a certain guy?” “What comes between them?”

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

F. F.: Okay, so once we have the idea as mentioned above, I try to plan the beginning, the middle, and the end. David is definitely a pantzer. I kind of envy him. He is one of those people for whom the story just seems to write itself. Mostly, when we write together, it’s more bouncing ideas than bouncing the actual file back and forth. “Guess what just happened,” he’ll say. “That’s good,” I’ll respond, “but what happens next?” “I have no idea.” Then the story writes itself and sometimes something we actually planned doesn’t seem to fit naturally anymore. We originally had Reed and Mathias first meet in a different way, but the David sat down and wrote that amazing opening scene and I was hooked.

David: That was fun. Hopefully, within an instant, people get who Reed is. Also, when you get to work with a great editor, they will say, “How does so and so react?” and then you can go off and add another couple of pages of stuff you never even thought about. I LOVE that. The best editors really spark creativity! The relationship between editor and writer is very important.

  • 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?

E. F.: We stick mostly with contemporary. We go historical once in a while and we like to play with paranormal stuff.

David: I always like to get into a character’s head, no matter the subgenre, to find out why he shuns love, falls for a guy at the drop of a hat, hates Christmas, or wants to constantly compete and always win, like Reed.

E. F.: David says he always wanted to be an FBI profiler. He’s really good, I think, at knowing why people act/say/and do things, especially when they act contrary to how they say they are.

  • 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?

David: How about a whole book? “Double Flip”! Haha

E. F.: We’re on a roll lately where we are revisiting characters to find out what “happily ever after” really means. It surely isn’t wine and roses every day. We’ve recently been editing a book with Tom Alan, Milo, and Erika in it and just “finished” the first draft of a new story for Eli and TJ from “Orange You Glad I Said Kiss”.

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

E. F.: Hmm. We both seem to fall in love with all of them. Secondary characters can be such a hoot! It’s like with children or fur babies. You try not to have a favorite cat, but the one who sits on your lap a lot feels like it quite often. However, sometimes the one who never comes near you gives squinty eyes from across the room and you say, “She likes me. She really likes me.” Then she’s your favorite for a while.

David: There’s an analogy for you,

E. F.: What’s hard is—and maybe this should go unsaid—when someone doesn’t like a character we love so much, it feels like we’ve failed him or her. If the reader isn’t cheering for our main guys, or doesn’t get why they fell in love, or doesn’t like one of them, we didn’t do the story justice. It’s like introducing your new boyfriend to your best friend and your best friend is like, “No.” So, yeah, they’re all like people we know and love.

  • How early in your life did you begin writing?

E. F.: I think we both starting writing as soon as we knew how to write. I found an old report card a while back where my first grade teacher said I was very creative.

David: My middle school English teacher told me I should write for soap operas. Romance novels and soaps are very similar.

E. F.: We hope everyone enjoys “Truth, Pride, Victory, Love”. Like a soap opera—like life—there is humor, heartbreak, romance, adventure, family drama, a few surprises, and a lot of sexiness.

David: And water. Lots of water.

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Blurb

Beneath the surface, they share more than dreams of Olympic gold.

Since elementary school, the question of Reed Watson’s race has needled him. But the one thing he’s always known is that he is destined to become an Olympic star—he felt it the moment he first hit the water. Chosen by a former Olympic swimmer to train for the 2016 Olympics, Reed determinedly works toward his dream.

Along the way, Reed develops feelings for two men he’s known since childhood: Cal, his next-door neighbor, and Mathias, his rival since the fourth grade. Cal’s struggle with his sexual identity and a tragedy complicate Reed’s feelings, while Mathias’s wealth quickly makes it obvious they are from vastly different worlds. 

As Rio approaches, Mathias becomes a gay sports icon, while Reed is told to hide his sexuality for a lucrative endorsement deal that will offer his family a financial boost and help him with mounting debt. Reed’s unresolved desires for both men remain and so too do all the things that have kept them apart. Has he grown enough to navigate rougher waters, to find truth, pride, victory, and love?

BA Tortuga on Writing and her release, Catch and Release (The Release #3) (author guest blog)

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catch-and-release

Catch and Release (The Release #3) by B.A. Tortuga
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reamspinner Press
Cover art by Bree Archer

Available for Purchase at

        

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to  have BA Tortuga here talking writing and her latest release, Catch and Release, one of our highly recommended novels. Welcome, BA!

Hey y’all!

BA Tortuga here, the resident redneck and Andrew Grey’s favorite lesbian, and I’m blogging about my new release, Catch and Release, which is the third book in the Release series.

Lord, my editor would be all over me about repetition there! Sometimes it really is deliberate.

Just like picking the next book in a series.

When I was trying to come up with the third book in the Release series, I decided I wanted to use Adam Winchester’s security firm. Win is in book one with his ex-con lover Sage, and I was like, I need to explore Win’s friends some.

Yeah. So I plotted it out on cards. I do that. Each scene gets a card. There’s an author with agoraphobia. A security guard. A big adventure. I tried to write it.

It didn’t fit, y’all. Not at all. See, the Release series is all about re-entering society. In book one, The Terms of Release, Sage gets out of jail and re-joins the world. In book 2, The Articles of Release, Eric comes back from the military injured, and has a tough time getting into the swing of civilian life.

So I was all, sure, the writer will get back out there. Except he didn’t want to, and the security guard didn’t want to work for Win, and it was just a mess. I despaired. I ranted and my wife. I railed against fate.

Then I took some time off to go to the Coastal Magic convention in Daytona Beach. I was standing outside the coffee shop with Andrew Grey, bemoaning the lack of words on Catch and Release. He looked at me and rolled his eyes. “That’s because you’re writing the wrong book,” he said. “You need to write something more like Sage and Win. I loved them.”

I blinked. I nodded. I asked a bunch of questions.

By the time the wife came over with coffee I had the book all planned out in my head. Dakota was there, talking in his quiet, unassuming way.

Andrew was totally right. With a series, you have to pick the right book.

I sure hope y’all love Catch and Release as much as I do.

Much love, y’all,

BA

Catch and Release

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The Release Series: Book Three

Dakota Landry just got out of prison after twelve years. If anyone can understand how that feels, it’s his new friend, Sage, who is determined to help him get used to life on the outside—and believes Dakota didn’t commit the crime he was in for.

Jayden Wilson is a former prosecutor who agrees to look into the case at the request of Sage’s lover, Adam. He sets out to prove Dakota is just another “innocent” ex-con, but once they meet, Jayden is more and more convinced Dakota just didn’t do what everyone thinks he did.

Trouble follows Dakota, and nothing is easy as he struggles to figure out how to live, now that he has choices. And Jayden isn’t sure how Dakota, or any lover for that matter, fits into his life. Their path from friendship to romance is a slow one, but Dakota begins to believe he deserves a chance at life, and Jayden falls a little more for Dakota every day. Now they just need to tell each other how they feel.

Dreamspinner Press: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/catch-and-release-by-ba-tortuga-7903-b

You can find BA at:

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BA Tortuga bio:

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.

Cover Reveal for Hipster Brothel by K.A. Merikan

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Title:  Hipster Brothel

Author: K.A. Merikan

Publisher:  Acerbi&Villani ltd.

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Release Date:  24th of January 2017

Heat Level: 3

Pairing: M/M

Length: 50,000 words

Genre/Tags: Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, M/M Romance, Hipsters, sex work, friends to lovers, bisexuality, post-break up issues, coming out, first time, alternative lifestyles, lumbersexual bear, commitment

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Synopsis

— The lumberjack of his dreams is now available for rent. —

Mr. B has always been a safe guy for Jo to crush on. He’s the cutest bearded lumber-god to salivate over. Add to that his friendly, outgoing personality, and Mr. B might just be the first guy Jo would be willing to kiss. Fortunately, Mr. B has been in a relationship for years, and Jo is no home-wrecker.

But when Mr. B breaks up with his partner and all of a sudden is single, available, and talks about his plans to be sexually adventurous, Jo isn’t so sure anymore if he has the guts to come out as bisexual.

After a sour breakup, Mr. B wants to show his ex that he’s independent, exciting, and can do very well without him. His best friend Jo is there to the rescue, and they come up with a great new business venture. One thing they lack to start their own line of artisanal boozy jams – money for the investment.

After a drunken brainstorming session, Mr. B finds a way to both gather the cash and show the middle finger to his ex. He will create a one of a kind Hipster Brothel – The Lumbersexual Experience – offering wood chopping lessons, pipe smoking, and a reclaimed wood bed where the magic would happen. It’s bound to be a success… if only Mr. B can go through with it, because the mixed signals from Jo are making him wonder if his best friend is as straight as he always seemed.

WARNING: Explicit content, strong language. A shameless amount of buzzwords. May cause second-hand embarrassment.

Meet the Author

K.A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are mistaken for sisters with surprising regularity. Kat’s the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnes’s ass when she’s slacking off. Her memory works like an easy-access catalogue, which allows her to keep up with both book details and social media. Also works as the emergency GPS. Agnes is the Merikan nitpicker, usually found busy with formatting and research. Her attention tends to be scattered, and despite being over thirty, she needs to apply makeup to buy alcohol. Self-proclaimed queen of the roads.

They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of – it will be full of surprises.

e-mail: kamerikan@gmail.com

More information about ongoing projects, works in progress and publishing at:

K.A. Merikan’s author page: http://kamerikan.com

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

Twitter (run by Kat): https://twitter.com/KA_Merikan

Agnes Merikan’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/AgnesMerikan

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6150530.K_A_Merikan

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/KAMerikan/

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