Two Important Closure Announcements -Torquere Press and All Romance

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is sharing the closures of two well known publishing houses.  If you have books you need to download or are a writer with rights at either establishment, please take note.

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From All Romance:

“It is with a great sadness that we announce the closing of All Romance eBooks, LLC. For the first year since opening in 2006, we will be posting a loss. Despite efforts to maintain and grow our market share, sales and profits have declined. The financial forecast for 2017 isn’t hopeful. We’ve accepted that there is not a viable path forward.

All Romance has always been a labor of love. Over the years we’ve developed wonderful relationships with the vendors we’ve worked with, the publishers whose content it’s been our pleasure to sell, the authors who supported us, and the customers who it’s been our honor to serve. On midnight, December 31 our sites will go dark. Between now and then, we encourage consumers finalize any transactions, download purchases, and back up libraries.

If you directly publish content for sale through our platform or All Romance has acted as your publisher via our Publishing in Partnership program, you should be in receipt of an email from us with additional information. If not, please contact us at info@allromanceebooks.com.”

Torquere Press

Posted by Victoria Strauss for Writer Beware

 

Troubled publisher Torquere Press is closing. Owners Kristi Boulware and Joanna Talbot announced their decision yesterday in an email :
We have thought long and hard about where things are with Torquere and made the very hard decision that we need to begin the process of closing this chapter of our lives….We have done everything we could to turn things around but with the saturation in the industry, the financial hardships we are in, my health in constant decline along with the negativity we have had hurdled our way. We feel like we are currently fighting an uphill battle.

A Caryn Review: Bridge Over Troubled Water by Vivien Dean

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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

bridge-over-troubled-waterOnce again I found myself choosing a book for all the wrong reasons:  I love the Simon and Garfunkel song.  And I like this author, so I picked the book without even reading the blurb.  When I started reading, and found out it was about vampires, my first response was ugh.  I really don’t like vampire books, why did I choose this???

Detective Brady Lindstrom is the quintessential workaholic cop.  He never takes a day off, has no life outside of his cases, and doesn’t even seem to want one.  He has no friends, no lovers, few possessions, and life outside of work is mainly working out until he drops.  He works homicide, and has dealt with some of the most horrific cases in the Bay area, but his single-minded devotion to the job means he is usually successful in bringing criminals to justice.  The case he’s investigating now, however, is much worse than anything he’s ever seen before – 12 frat boys slaughtered, found with their throats and hearts ripped from their bodies.

When he goes home from the murder scene, he’s in his usual routine of running on his treadmill until he’s exhausted enough to sleep, because he has a good idea of what committed the murders, even if he doesn’t know who.  When someone knocks at his door just before dawn, he is not as surprised as he should be to find his ex-lover, Cole Singer at the door.  Cole, who died 10 years ago.

Despite his deep distrust of vampires, and Cole in particular, he needs Cole to help solve this murder and kill the vampires who did it.  He’s the only one on the force who is aware of vampires’ existence, so he’s on his own.  Cole is severely injured, and needs Brady’s protection and help, so the two forge an uneasy truce in order to track down the killers.

Two things frustrated me about the story:  the first is that the author seems to assume that her readers know all the powers of the vampires in this book.  There is some explanation, but it was a little inconsistent – the superhuman strength and speed, the heightened senses, the rapid healing are traits I’ve come to know from other books, but what was with the hearts being cut out from bodies?  Was that another thing that vampires do?  Cole is no longer killing people, but he does go to “blood bars” where he can partially bleed men who get off on that.  It wasn’t really clear how that worked.  And what was the deal with his fangs during sex?  The second issue is the almost complete lack of background.  Why and how did Cole become a vampire?  Was it an act of malice or a random accident?  How did Brady come to know about it?  Cole apparently almost killed Brady shortly after his change, but was that what made Brady hate Cole?  Or something else?  Although the main plot arc was finding and killing the vampires responsible for the murder, the secondary arc was clearly the changing and developing relationship between the two men, and it was much harder for me to follow it without knowing what happened before.

I thought it was kind of funny that Brady brought home human blood a few times for Cole.  Like that is something you can just pick up at the grocery store.  Really?  Another pet peeve for me was how the author kept describing how Brady’s tongue would be cut just about every time they kissed, and I was thinking this poor guy shouldn’t have been able to talk or eat solid food by the time the story ended.

But despite all of those things I didn’t like about the story, in the end I did like the relationship arc between the two men, enough that I was able to give the book 3 stars.  It won’t be a reread for me though.

Cover Art by Ginny Glass captures the two MCs perfectly

Sales Links

Loose Id

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Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 2nd Edition, 112 pages
Published October 17th 2016 by Loose Id LLC (first published 2008)
Original TitleBridge Over Troubled Water
ASINB01MDNXUO2
Edition LanguageEnglish
CharactersBrady Lindstrom, Cole Singer settingUnited States

A Lila Audiobook Review: Fish Out of Water by Amy Lane and Narrated by Greg Tremblay

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

fish-out-of-water-audioPI Jackson Rivers grew up on the mean streets of Del Paso Heights—and he doesn’t trust cops, even though he was one. When the man he thinks of as his brother is accused of killing a police officer in an obviously doctored crime, Jackson will move heaven and earth to keep Kaden and his family safe.

Defense attorney Ellery Cramer grew up with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth, but that hasn’t stopped him from crushing on street-smart, swaggering Jackson Rivers for the past six years. But when Jackson asks for his help defending Kaden Cameron, Ellery is out of his depth—and not just with guarded, prickly Jackson. Kaden wasn’t just framed, he was framed by crooked cops, and the conspiracy goes higher than Ellery dares reach—and deep into Jackson’s troubled past.

Both men are soon enmeshed in the mystery of who killed the cop in the minimart, and engaged in a race against time to clear Kaden’s name. But when the mystery is solved and the bullets stop flying, they’ll have to deal with their personal complications… and an attraction that’s spiraled out of control.

Fish Out of Water is a departure read for this author. There’s no comparison to Amy Lane’s ability to make a character miserable, and this book is no exception. At least, no animals died in the making of this story. It has all the traditional elements of her stories, but it’s more than a romance. The mystery aspect was well intertwined with the rest of the plot lines.

Ellery is my favorite character in the story. Perhaps because he evolves the most as he works on Kaden’s case. I like the way he gives his all to the cases even when he knows his clients aren’t innocent. But he gets even better when he’s doing his best for his deserving clients.

Jackson has an edge that takes a moment to get used to, but after a couple of pages, the reader sees it as a defense mechanism. I give kudos to the author for showing the character’s bisexuality, not just tell us about it. Some may not like this approach, but it works well with the characters.

The story starts slow and it’s over nine hours long. It’s full of action, drama, sex scenes, and all the extras that make a story great. It was hard to follow in parts, but overall, it’s an interesting take on a mystery story arc.

Greg Tremblay did an excellent job, as always. One of the things I like the most about his narrations is his ability to voice male and female characters with the same intensity. By the end of the story, all the characters have individual characteristics that are easy to follow.

The cover by Reese Dante is simple and quite literal. At the same time, the lines are clean and go perfectly with the story. It’s not the normal MM Romance cover, but it goes with the unconventional story.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: Greg Tremblay
Length: 9 hours and 20 minutes

Published: October 10, 2016 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B01LZQ0MBK
Edition Language: English

A VVivacious Review: Under My Bed by T. A. Chase

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Rating: 2.5 Stars out of 5
 
under-my-bedTabor Augustus Gilles was planning to spend All Hallows’ Eve all on his own when a knock on his door interrupts his plans. He opens the door to find an incredibly handsome man dripping wet who goes by the name Gautier.
 
Gautier knows Tabor’s secret and he wants to help him but while Tabor seems to just barely tolerate this interruption to his plans, the ghosts that haunt him want Gautier out of Tabor’s life and they are ready to do anything to make that happen.
 
But look likes meeting Gautier has finally given Tabor the courage to fight his ghosts once and for all.
 
The premise of this story is inherently flawed. Tabor has been haunted since he was ten years old yet for the past fifteen years he never tried to get rid of his ghosts and neither did his mother who was haunted by the very same ghosts before him and worst of all his mother didn’t impart any knowledge about these hauntings to Tabor. I mean I really hated the women she didn’t prepare her son for the herculean task that was about to descend on him and neither did she try to get rid of the burden, if not for her sake then for her son’s. Why this point grates on my nerves is because of the fact that getting rid of the ghosts wasn’t all that challenging, physically and mentally exhausting, yes but not difficult or impossible.
 
So because of that, for much of the plot I am left wondering why now? Why is everything becoming unbearable now that Gautier is in the picture? I mean I get that the ghosts were getting more vicious but I found it hard to believe that Tabor accepted the burden without trying everything possible to get rid of it first. I mean the ghosts are confined to a box but he never even really tried to get rid of the box, I mean the least he tried was to leave it at home when he left for college (but his mother sent it back to him, I mean this woman is unbelievable), he never tried to bury it ten feet deep or throw it in the ocean. I mean come on if a box of ghosts was draining your life force wouldn’t you try everything and I mean everything possible to get rid of it first?
 
So that is the end of me railing at the plot. What I liked about this story were its main characters – Tabor and Gautier. I liked Tabor’s self-deprecating wit and even though I didn’t like the way he handled the situation, I can appreciate the strength it took to handle things as he did and still retain his sanity. Gautier was a nice change of pace for Tabor, I liked Gautier, he seemed very kind hearted and helpful and I liked how he tried to help Tabor even at the risk of bodily harm. I also quite liked the fact that he had ulterior motives and wasn’t completely innocent.
 
Tabor and Gautier were scorching hot together. These two were yummy together and they definitely had chemistry going for them. Since this book is spread over only two days, I feel it will be a bit hasty to label them in love but I do agree that given everything they have endured together they are well on that path.
 
This is a nicely written story but you kind of have to suspend your logic if you want to enjoy this properly.
 
Cover Art by Winterheart Design. I confess I am not a fan of covers with just two guys on them especially when they are not even interacting with each other on the cover, too trite for my tastes.
Sales Links
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Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 90 pages
Published October 27th 2016 by MLR Press, LLC (first published July 6th 2011)
ASINB01M3VTJCT
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Paul B Advent Calendar Day Review: Analog to Digital (2016 Advent Calendar – Bah Humbug) by Posy Roberts

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

analog-to-digitalEthan is the owner and creative director of a fashion house in California.  As the holidays approach, he is trying to finish some projects before the end of the year and pursue new ventures for the new one to come.  The last thing he needs is to attend his sister’s wedding vow renewal back home in Minnesota.  However, his long term lover Toby has other ideas.  Toby buys plane tickets for the both of them and insists that they have to go.  Ethan complains that he has too much work to do but the fact that his sister just got married less than a year ago is another reason.  Why should she basically get two weddings in a year when he cannot get his partner to marry him?

The root of the problem is that both Ethan and Toby have both stated that neither of them wan a wedding of their own from the beginning.  But several years on, Ethan would like nothing more than to formally tie himself to Toby through matrimony.  He fears that if he pushes too far then he might lose Toby forever.  When they arrive in Minnesota, Ethan’s anxiety escalates as he is left alone to work on his fashions while Toby, Ethan’s parents and sister all work on last minute details for the vow renewal.  Ethan barely sees his family all day and at night Toby seems distant.  Ethan convinces himself that by the time the return to California or shortly thereafter, his relationship with Toby will come to an end.  He now longer feels that Minnesota is his home but will he have a home with Toby in the long run?  This is turning out to be a Bah Humbug of a Christmas for him.

Posy Roberts once again pens a tale that draws you in.  Ethan‘s paranoia about his relationship with Toby is almost palpable.  As I was reading, I knew that Ethan was probably blowing the situation out of proportion but isn’t that what most people who misinterpret a situation do?  Ethan almost reaches the point where he sabotages his relationship all by himself.  But of course this is a Christmas story so Ethan finally receives the gift he has been secretly wanting all along.  The trip home to California won’t be as lonely as he thought it would be earlier in the week.

The cover art is by the author and has a man’s rear end covered in jeans with his hand behind him with his fingers crossed.  I’m not sure how it relates to the story. 

Sales Links

 Amazon US | Amazon UK | Dreamspinner | AllRomance | B&N | KOBO 

Book Details

EBook, 39 pages

Edition Language:  English

Published December 2016 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN:  978-1-63533-191-2

Series:  Dreamspinner Advent Calendar 2016—Bah Humbug

Paul Comeau on Writing and his release ‘More Things in Heaven and Earth Things’ (author interview)

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More Things in Heaven and Earth by Paul Comeau
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reamspinner Press
Cover art by Catt Ford

Available for Purchase at

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Paul Comeau here today talking about writing, books, and his latest release, More Things in Heaven and Earth.  Welcome, Paul.

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

     I’m definitely not a planner in the sense that I carefully map out chapters and plot lines before I begin to write.  I start with a general idea, as I did with More Things in Heaven and Earth.  It began with that single line from Shakespeare, which I kept coming back to in all my years of teaching Hamlet.  I knew I wanted to write a story about a vampire, but I wanted it to be different from the countless other vampire stories I’d read.  Then the idea of a vampire masquerading as a Roman Catholic priest was an irony too delicious to pass up.  The whole idea of Damien consciously playing a role in a drama of his own creation would allow me to incorporate my love of Shakespeare into the narrative; and indeed Damien frequently quotes from the plays.  The idea of Damien rescuing the young Danny came to me quite by accident, but then the question became rescuing him from what?  That’s when the gay theme took shape, as Damien seeks to protect Danny from his father, Frank, and Monsignor Monahan’s attempts to force him into conversion therapy.  And so the story developed.

     That’s pretty much how I write, how my stories take shape.  One idea spawns another, but I don’t start out with any definite plan.  I’m frequently surprised by how a storyline develops.

Q.  Does any genre draw you more than another when writing it or reading it and why does it do so?

     I’ve been fascinated by the supernatural and fantasy genres all my reading life.  I suppose that interest really began with the Disney storybooks and movies I read and watched as a child.  I remember being charmed by the three fairy godmothers in Sleeping Beauty and in awe of Maleficent when she turns into the dragon at the end.  And who can forget the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz, another favorite, or Marley’s ghost in A Christmas Carol.  Growing up, I couldn’t get enough of stories of witchcraft and hauntings and possessions:  The Amityville Horror, The Exorcist, The Other, to name a few.   In fact, I’m currently working on a novel about a demonic possession.

     It’s more difficult to explain why.  We lived in an old house, and my bedroom was up a

narrow flight of stairs in the attic.  The room was lit by a single bare lightbulb in the center of the ceiling with a pull string hanging down about a foot out of my reach.  I had to jump to catch the string to turn on the light, and was alone in the spooky dark until I managed to catch and pull it.  I often missed, which made it scarier.  There was a holly tree outside my bedroom window, which made scary shadows in the moonlight.  I also used to stay up late to watch old horror movies, which added another layer of fright.  You’d have thought with such experiences I’d have shied away from the supernatural genre, but just the opposite seemed to happen.

     I still read every vampire and werewolf story I can get my hands on, and watch every accompanying movie, no matter how derivative and corny.

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

     After thirty-two years of teaching literature, not to mention the preceding eight years of reading and writing about it in university courses, More Things is my first attempt at a novel, so I don’t as yet have many characters under my belt.  I’ve encountered writers who seem clearly to favor some of their characters over others based on the care and effort they’ve lavished on them.  I suspect even Shakespeare had a special place in his heart for Hamlet, perhaps the most complex character ever created.  I must confess I favor Damien over the others, though Danny comes a close second.

     As a vampire, Damien is swift, powerful and fearless, qualities I often wish I had; but he can also be thoughtful and caring, qualities I hope I have in some measure.  Danny is so vulnerable he’s often frightened and insecure, and tends to be easily hurt in his quest for love and acceptance.  Like Damien, I found myself wanting to put my arm around him and protect and reassure him.  So yes, I favor these two characters above the others.

Q.  How early in your life did you begin writing?

      I can’t recall a time when I wasn’t composing stories in my head.  However, I wrote my first serious short story when I was about eleven or twelve.  I had an old manual typewriter with a

worn ribbon on which I typed it my eight-page, double-spaced wonder.  It was about a hapless young man (I’m not certain I even gave him a name) who happens to come upon a haunted house and is foolish enough to go inside.  What follows is utterly predictable, utterly banal, but I thought at the time it was brilliant.  I even drew a beautiful derelict house for the front cover.  I cringe to admit I was pretty proud of my effort and actually showed it around to a couple of family members and relatives, for which I mentally beg their belated forgiveness.  Like Damien, I seem to have been quite shameless.

     My writing subsequent to that was of an academic nature: several articles on the works of various authors and a book-length study of the fiction of the Canadian writer Margaret Laurence.  Now retired, however, I’ve returned to writing that for me is more rewarding and certainly a lot more fun.    

     About More Things in Heaven and Earth by Paul Comeau

When young Danny Crawford’s father and a priest conspire to subject him to conversion therapy, Danny only sees one way out. But little does Danny know he’ll soon have a sentinel watching from the darkness, a guardian angel in the most unlikely form imaginable.

Damien, a vampire, is inexplicably moved by Danny’s plight. He takes it upon himself to make sure Danny’s father and the priest can never hurt him again, giving Danny a chance at a normal life. As Danny grows up, Damien struggles to keep the boy—and later the young man—from harm. He does not dare go any further, no matter how much he wants to. To do so would ruin everything he’s tried to do for Danny. He doesn’t realize that as Danny embarks on a successful modeling career and begins dating, Danny feels empty, longing for something—or someone—just beyond his reach: a shadow, a presence he despairingly believes forever lost to him. 

When brutality and violence threaten Danny again, Damien must make a decision—risk revealing himself to Danny, or leave Danny to his fate.

 About the Author

Paul is a proud Canadian, who has recently retired from teaching high school English and is relieved to have finally traded the drudgery of lesson prep and essay marking for the pure joy of writing fiction.  He is addicted to paranormal investigator shows, horror movies, all things vampire, mystery novels, long morning walks, and jigsaw puzzles.  He is blessed with a loving and supportive wife, who keeps him grounded in reality while helping him navigate the intimidating world of technology, and a daughter who understands the highs and lows of the enigmatic writing process, being herself an accomplished writer and poet.  When he is not compulsively tapping the keys of his laptop, he can be found at the dining room table matching the shapes and patterns of his latest jigsaw puzzle or in the kitchen roasting, stewing, grilling, and baking.  He views cooking as a creative activity, like writing fiction, with the outcome often as interesting and unexpected.  He imagines his characters, plots, and dialogues in the process of doing any or all of these things.

In Our Release Spotlight: Posy Roberts’ Analog to Digital (excerpt)

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Analog to Digital – Posy Roberts

Length: 13,655
 
 
 

Blurb

All Ethan wants for Christmas, and the rest of his life, is Toby.

For years, Ethan and Toby have said they’ll never marry, despite Ethan’s secret wishes. So leaving sunny California for snowy Minnesota to witness his sister’s vow renewal is not how he wants to spend his Christmas Eve. It’s the second time she’ll say “I do” in less than a year, when Ethan saying those words to Toby even once is hopeless.

In the run-up to the ceremony, Toby seems to avoid Ethan, and doubts grow in his absence. Ethan can’t help noticing Toby spends more time with Ethan’s family than with him. Little does Ethan know, Toby has desires of his own. But if Toby doesn’t find a way to reveal them, Ethan could leave for home without him.

Excerpt


LOOKING UP from the doodle I’d started on a cocktail napkin, I ordered. “Surly Furious. Two, please.” It was the beer I’d begged my sister to ship to me from back home. I wanted to give my employees a taste of Minnesota, even if they relentlessly teased me about my accent and “unfathomable” work ethic. I didn’t end up owner of a top-rated design house by the time I was in my midtwenties by phoning it in, so I never let their jibes bother me much.

The server reached for glasses after cracking each large can with a pfft and pfft, but I waved him off. “We’ll drink ’em right from the can, thanks.”

“Certainly.”

I slipped a ten in his tip jar and turned to the center of the distinctive ballroom, where people were dancing. His thanks trailed after me as I made my way over to Toby, who looked ready to blend into the leather couch while the room buzzed around him.

I pressed the chilled beer into his warm palm. “Here. This is the one I told you about.”

He took a sip and looked at me with dark eyes before taking another few swallows. He smiled when he finally set the can down. “It’s good. Real good.”

“Told ya.” I leaned in and kissed the beer foam that clung to his mustache. His beard brushed my chin, and as much as I wanted to get lost in his kisses, I was there as the boss tonight and couldn’t really let go like I wanted.

“Look at you two! So in love.” Stella, my right-hand and necessary coconspirator in most projects, plopped herself in the chair next to me and sipped at a neon-pink drink garnished with at least three fruit kabobs. Her eclectic style, mostly latent punk rocker meets Vargas pinup girl, was in full bloom. She would’ve fit perfectly on the nose of an Air Force plane or at any dance club in the city.

I smiled at her as I leaned against Toby’s shoulder. The sparkle in her lined eyes made what she was about to ask obvious.

“When are you two going to finally tie the knot?”

“We’re not,” Toby said without a second’s hesitation.

I crossed my feet at the ankles to ward off any evil as I lied through my teeth. “It’s not something either of us has ever wanted. No need to be tied down to a person. God knows I’m tied down by enough strings to this business, which grows busier by the day.”

Stella studied me out of the corner of her eye, skeptical. I talked shop to shake her focus.

 

January 4Bayou Book Junkie
 
 
 

About Posy

Posy Roberts writes about the realistic struggles of men looking for love. Whether her characters are family men, drag queens, or lonely men searching for connections, they all find a home in her stories.

Posy is a Jill of all trades and master of the drill and paintbrush. She’s married to a partner who makes sure she doesn’t forget to eat or sleep during her writing frenzies. Her daughter, a budding author and cinematographer, helps her come up with character names. For fun, Posy enjoys crafting, hiking, and singing spontaneously about the mundane, just to make regular life more interesting.

 
 
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