F.E. Feeley Jr on Poetry, Writing and his release“The Haunting of Timber Manor“ (Poetry by the author, guest post)

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The Haunting of Timber Manor (Memoirs of the Human Wraiths #1)

by F.E. Feeley Jr
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reamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host F.E. Feeley here today. Welcome, F.E., to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.

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Where do we go?

Where do we go when the thunder rolls through the night

When the darkness is deep and the stars have faded from heavens inkwell sky

When shadows stretch, thin fingers coiling around us when lightning flashes

And fear grips our hearts, quickened by the sight?

How can the night grow so long? We wonder

Our huddled frames closed in on itself to stay the cold night air

Leaves dash around out feet as we lower our heads to mourn the fall of rain

Quickly, we trudge through the empty streets seeking a destination far off

Warm light in distance windows kiss promises into the night

Memories of hearth and home invade our minds

In these bitter circumstances, we trudge on

As danger lurks from heavens portals on down to the ground upon which we trod

F.E. 

I love poetry. I love writing it. I wrote that just as I began to write this blog post. It’s sort of a game with

me.

I try to visualize a scene and go with it. Try to translate that visualization onto the page in a few short

Verses.

It’s like writing books, except that I am trying to convey an entire idea in a few short stanzas instead of

Through a book.

It’s a craft I’m in no way near to mastering. I’m not sure if I’m even any good.  But like any craft, it’s

worth sticking with and doing over

And over.

Most times, I will post something to Facebook. Right in the ‘What’s on your mind’ place where we go to

‘connect’ to people.

I was introduced to Poetry by the late great Dr. Maya Angelou and was so moved by a speech I watched

Her give on Youtube, on the day she died, I read most of her biographies and read the poems in which

She recited.

Poets like Langston Hughes, Edna St. Vincent- Millay, and of course, her poetry – such as ‘I know why the

Caged bird sings.’

My husband and my favorite poem is, The Day is Done by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. When my

Husband recites it, and it gets to the very last stanza, my eyes well up.

“….And the night shall be filled with music,

      And the cares, that infest the day,

Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,

      And as silently steal away.”

Poetry is a gentle thing. A profound but gentle thing, that – just as I mentioned before, can work to 

Provoke deep emotion from its reader.

As an author of books, I love the challenge poetry presents to me. To really pin down an image I am

Trying to convey to the reader.  I want them to be able to see with my words, through my eyes, what I

Am imagining onto the page.

I want them to see right into my heart and can communicate with them.

That’s why I write, really. I have this – as P!nk described once – this insatiable lust to connect to people

Through my craft.

Here are a few more examples:

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This is one of my favorite ones that I’ve written that a friend of mine, Baz, worked onto a graphic.

This poem I wrote one night during a windstorm. I sat outside smoking, as the warm but violent wind

Whipped so hard against a Live Oak. It was one of those nights when light from streetlamps made the

World feel even more eerie. It was one of those nights where, to me, the possibility of ghosts is the

Strongest.

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This is another post my friend helped to put together. This poem was written after I’d gone down to the

Beach. My husband and I stayed out there pretty late and the force of the water slapping against the

Shore really kind of got to me. I imagined what it would look like during a hurricane and found myself

In awe of the sheer magnitude and power of the sea.

Thank you for hanging out with me, today. I really hope you liked the poetry and the blog post.

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Blurb

While recovering from the recent loss of his parents, Daniel Donnelly receives a phone call from his estranged aunt, who turns over control of the family fortune and estate, Timber Manor. Though his father seemed guarded about the past, Daniel’s need for family and curiosity compel him to visit.

Located in a secluded area of the Northwest, Timber Manor has grown silent over the years. Her halls sit empty and a thin layer of dust adorns the sheet-covered furniture. When Daniel arrives to begin repairs, strange things happen. Nightmares haunt his dreams. Memories not his own disturb his waking hours. Alive with the tragedies of the past, Timber Manor threatens to tear Daniel apart.

Sherriff Hale Davis grew up working on the manor grounds. Seeing Daniel struggle, he vows protect the young man who captured his heart, and help him solve the mystery behind the haunting and confront the past—not only to save Daniel’s life, but to save his family, whose very souls hang in the balance.

About the Author

F.E. Feeley Jr was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and lived there for twenty years before joining the military. He is a veteran of the US Armed Services; having done a tour in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2002-2003, he turned college student, pursuing a degree in political science. He now lives in Southeast Texas where he is married to the love of his life, John, and where they live with their five year old German Shepherd, Kaiser.

As a young man, reading took center stage in his life, especially those novels about ghosts, witches, goblins, and all the other things that went bump in the night. His favorite authors include such writers as Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Anne Rice, whose work allowed him to travel to far off places and meet fascinating and scary characters. As a gay man, he wishes to be able to write good fictional literature for those who love the genre and to write characters that readers can relate to. All in all, he is a cigarette smokin’, whiskey drinkin’, rock and roll lovin’, tattoo wearin’ dreamer of a man with a wonderful husband who puts up with his crap and lets him write his stories.

A Paul B Review: Henning – Gay Young Adult Fantasy Romance Box Set – 2 books in 1 by Hayden Thorne

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

henning-box-setHenning is about to celebrate his fifteenth birthday.  That means another visit from his Uncle Norbert.  How would Henning describe Uncle Norbert?  Think Uncle Fester from the Addams Family, only bigger and stranger.  His family thinks Norbert has had one too many bad trips on magic mushrooms.  But Uncle Norbert is the only person in Henning’s messed up family that seems to pay him any attention.  Always confirming that Henning is still the person he’s supposed to be, Norbert asks Henning if anything strange has been hiding in dark places around the house.  At his fifteenth birthday party, Henning assures him that everything is fine.  And it is until Henning goes for a blanket in the family car and is attacked.  Norbert saves Henning and takes him away to a safe house he has had for just such an emergency.

Norbert explains to Henning that they, along with a couple of others, are actually from another time and dimension who were transported to earth to save their lives.  Henning is actually a prince in his home land, which was destroyed by his betrothed Varian back home.  Before that happened, Henning had soul bonded (or extreme married as Henning interprets it) to a young lieutenant in the royal army.  As Henning lay dying in his home world, his parents send him, his bond mate, Norbert and a couple of trusted advisers to Earth so that they might live.  However, his psychotic ex still wants Henning and is trying everything to get what he sees as rightfully his.  Norbert, Henning and the rest must stop Varian from coming into this world or else Earth might face the same fate as Wintergrave. 

This book has enough characteristics to make a good Young Adult novel.  Henning is teen is who lost amongst his family as an “oops” baby several years after the rest of his siblings.  As such, he is mostly ignored except for Norbert.  Then his world changes on his birthday.  Henning cannot have his bond mate in this world because Ellery already has a boyfriend.  Norbert does not want Henning to date for fear of his safety.  But that surely doesn’t mean Henning cannot hang out with his new friend Alan does it?  Magic, the undead, and a trip back to Wintergrave add to this tale.  The ending does leave the reader satisfied but I feel there is a whole other story to be told of the olden days of Wintergrave out there. 

The cover art by Written Ink Designs is alright.  It has a view of the palace staircase back in Wintergrave I believe.  I find it kind of an odd choice for the book as not much time is spent there.

Sales Link

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Book Details

EBook, 292 pages

Edition Language:  English

Published December 2015 by Queerteen Press

ISBN:  9781634861632

An Alisa Review: Under the Mistletoe (Happy Hollowdays) by Shawn Bailey

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

under-the-mistletoe-by-shawn-baileyBest friends Henry and Alan Grayling and Triston Lee decide to play a trick on Henry’s uptight younger brother Morgan, by having Triston kiss Morgan under the mistletoe at the yearly Christmas party. But the joke is on them when Morgan demands that Triston marry him and make an honest man out of him.

 

Triston has always been in love with Morgan, but Triston never wanted to ruin the friendship he had with Henry by putting the moves on the man’s brother. Triston never blinked when Morgan went away to college for four years, but now that he was back, all Triston wanted to do was get to know him better. Yet, he still hadn’t been prepared for Morgan to lay a heavy guilt trip on him just because he gave him a friendly peck on the lips.

 

So what if a couple of other drunken employees saw them kiss? Triston didn’t think any of them would remember the next day, and it certainly was a stupid reason for them to get married!

 

This was a nice short story, but I felt at times that I was missing something.  Triston is in love with his best friend’s brother, but has never told anyone and Morgan has always been attracted to Triston, but kept his secret also.  Both of them fight each other in their own ways, but it takes some time for them to see how they could work out.

 

I got confused by the characters actions in this story, one minute they were compassionate and then snippy and then acting spoiled.  It isn’t until the very end of the story that I could see them finally giving way to the other and not holding something back.  I had trouble connecting with these characters as it always felt like they were holding something back or there we other things going on in the background that I didn’t know about.

 

The cover art is nice, setting the Christmas setting with the decorations.

 

Sales Links: Dark Hollows Press | Amazon 

 

Book Details:

ebook, 41 pages

Published: December 3, 2016 by Dark Hollows Press

Edition Language: English

A Stella Review: Idlewild by Jude Sierra

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RATING 4,25 out of 5 stars

idlewildIn a last ditch effort to bring the downtown Detroit gastro pub he started with his late husband back to life, Asher Schenck fires everyone and hires a completely new staff. Among them is Tyler Heyward, a 23-year-old recent college graduate in need of funds to pay for med school. As their relationship shifts from business to friendship, Tyler falls for Asher and finds himself caught between the things he thought he wanted and the things he hasn’t allowed himself to dream about. Working together, they get to know each other’s dreams. Set in the backdrop of Detroit’s revival, Idlewild is a story about love and healing.

Asher is reopening Idlewild, the restaurant he neglected during the last difficult years, years where after losing his husband, he let himself be swallowed by the grief and overlooked his business. Asher is hiring new people, Tyler is one of waiters. He has decided to take a break from med school and work doing something he actually like. What both of them aren’t expecting is  the strong friendship that born between them.

Idlewild by Jude Sierra is a very good story, it packs a lot of feelings, real ones, the emotions come out through the pages so clearly. I liked how it is paced and I adored how I was able to see the love Tyler and Asher had for each other even before they realized it.

This is a book relation focused, there are some second characters, well defined too, but they don’t play huge roles in the plot, the focus remained spotted on the MCs and their initial friendship and it follows them in the discovery of a new unexpected love later. We see them deal with life, with their fears and the happiness found in each other arms.

I liked how John and Malik were presented and often mentioned, as it could have been in real life; because ex boyfriends and dead husbands can’t be forgotten in the span of a moment like  too often happens in books, while in RL you hurt, suffer and recover with time and the help of your beloved ones. And I saw exactly this in Idlewild, although maybe Asher isn’t really ready yet to go on, but he’s there, and Tyler is just waiting for him.

The only little negative note I want to make and the reason why I didn’t give the novel the five full stars, is the use of the present tense as verbal form, I’m usually not a fan of it but in this particular case it bothered me quite a lot because it seems it clashed with the writing. I can assure you the book is very well written but to me it wasn’t perfect just for the verbal form.

I feel to recommend Idlewild, especially if you are looking for a real story, with real characters and a real setting. I quite enjoyed it and I’m now interested in reading more by Jude Sierra.

The cover art by CB Messer caught my eyes at first sight, it’s well done and fits the story.

Sales Links

Interlude Press

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BOOK DETAILS

Published December 1st 2016 by Interlude Press

Kindle Edition, 250 pages

ASIN B01MAXJFMU

Edition Language English

A Lila Audiobook Review: Tartan Candy (Fabric Hearts #1) by K.C. Burn and David Ross (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

tartan-candy-audioFinlay McIntyre (aka Raven) is a successful adult film star with a penchant for kilts, until an accident cuts short his stardom and leaves him with zero sexual desire, lowered self-esteem, and no job. He knew his porn career wouldn’t last forever, but he wasn’t prepared for retirement at twenty-eight. While trying to figure out the rest of his life, Raven agrees to attend a high school reunion. That’s when a malfunctioning AC unit in his hotel room changes everything.

Caleb Sanderson, an entrepreneur with his own HVAC business, has no idea what to expect when he steps into Raven’s hotel room to fix his AC unit. They’re attracted to each other, but Caleb, closeted, can’t afford a gay relationship, not with his mom pressuring him to produce grandchildren. If he wants to keep Raven—who no closet could hold—he’ll need to tell his family the truth. But Raven has a few secrets of his own. He refuses to reveal his porn past to Caleb, a past that might be the final obstacle to Caleb and Raven having any kind of relationship.

Tartan Candy is an interesting take on the old porn start troupe. I like the idea of Raven working as an escort after his accident. It shows how well he knew what he wanted and how to achieve it after life threw him a curve ball. There’s no shame in his profession and he consider it a career but not a permanent one, thought.

The way the main characters met is charming and interesting–a good story to tell the grandkids. Caleb and Raven have great chemistry from the very beginning and the way they deal with their attraction is fun and realistic. Their banter is refreshing and Raven’s introvert side works well with Caleb as a family man.

There are many secondary and guest characters and all play a part in the story. Through them, we learned more about the MCs and how their lives were changing with every moment they spent together. Their stories were simple but filled with meaning. The author did an excellent job creating the world in which they all fit.

Some parts were a bit too detailed when those details were irrelevant to the overall story. Also, the ending felt rushed, too soap opera like, and too perfectly wrap. Don’t get me wrong, I love a HEA, but I like to experience how the characters took the time to get there. This is a good story, it just needed a little something to make it great.

I enjoyed David Ross’s narration. The characterization fit and the story flows easily from one scene to the other. The voices were natural and the listener only needs a couple of pages to get used to the voices and the story.

The cover by L.C. Chase gives the reader a basic visual of Raven’s looks & tartan kilt without getting into specific details about his appearance.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: David Ross
Length: 7 hours and 21 minutes

Published: October 10, 2016 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B01LY3TQ03
Edition Language: English

 

Series:  Fabric Hearts
Book #1: Tartan Candy
Book #2: Plaid Versus Parsley

C.L. Etta on Writing, Books, and her release ‘Love’s Tethered Heart ‘ (author interview)

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Love’s Tethered Heart by C.L. Etta
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reamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht

Available for Purchase at

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have C.L. Etta here today talking about writing, books, and her latest release, Love’s Tethered Heart.  Welcome, C.L.!

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A big shout out to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting me today. I appreciate the opportunity to stop in and answer a few questions while promoting my latest release—Love’s Tethered Heart. LTH is the unlikely love story of Mico and Danny, two men who work to forge a relationship despite the obstacles in front of them. Their biggest hurdle? Mico is ventilator dependent due to quadriplegia. I hope readers will accompany the characters on their journey to discover whether or not love can conquer all.

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

Although this is my third book, I’m still a novice so I don’t have a “normal” yet. But my last career was as a nursing home nurse, and in each of my three books I’ve drawn on that experience. I’ve written minor characters who are central to the plot, dealing with a stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. In LTH I tackle quadriplegia. My current work in progress is told from the point of view of a blind man. I’m also working on a manuscript set against a stock car racing background because I’m a NASCAR fan.

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

If by “pantzer” you mean “seat of your pants”, then I’m definitely a pantzer. I get an idea in my head and I see the beginning, maybe something that happens in the middle and since it’s a romance, I know how it will end. Everything else comes to me as I write. The why? I’m not sure. In real life, I’m spontaneous, rarely planning. I used to buy those daily planners, utilizing them a week or two, then tossing them aside. They stifled my style.

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?

The last four or five years I’ve been drawn to the m/m genre. I have read a handful of fantasy, but mostly stick with contemporary. I like the element of angst sexuality brings to the story. Before I began reading this genre, I mostly read historical bodice rippers.

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

I’m learning that they can. I have another book coming out in March and I have a thing for the main character, Cassidy a recently retired Army sergeant with a gentle heart.

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?

Amy Lane’s Promise Rock series, Rowan Speedwell’s Illumination, Mary Calmes’ Matter of Time series, and to keep things exciting, SE Jake’s Hell or Highwater series.

How early in your life did you begin writing?

LOL. I wouldn’t call it early. I began writing my first novel in January 2015. It was accepted for publication in October it was accepted for publication and was released in July 2016. Since then, I’ve had three other novels accepted. It’s been a heady experience for me.

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 an avid reader. I rode my bicycle to the library every week and checked out the maximum number of books. My mother would often find me under the covers with a flashlight in hand reading way past bedtime. I read Mark Twain, Daphne Du Maurier, and the Nancy Drew books. I went through a period where I read only mysteries. When I began reading historical romance, Kathleen Woodiwiss and LaVyrle Spencer, and Judith McNaught were my go to authors.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

Sitting on my laurels amid the Caribbean? No, really that’s what I’d like, but realistically I must always keep my mind busy, whether reading or writing, or playing Sudoku. I like to think that writing stories about beautiful men doing naughty things will keep me young. If not of body, then in mind and heart.

What would you like your readers to take away from Love’s Tethered Heart?

That’s a tough one, because the journey will be different for each reader. LTH touches on family themes, forgiveness, illness, loneliness, religion and unconditional love. I’d like them to arrive at the end of the journey with an enhanced sense of compassion and hope. I’d like them to believe that love is possible for everyone no matter life’s obstacles.

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Blurb

Two years ago Mico and his partner suffered a savage gay bashing that left Mico a quadriplegic—and ended his dreams of traveling the world as an archeologist. Abandoned by the man he loved, he lives in isolation, tethered to his bed by the machines keeping him alive, with only his caretakers and immediate family as companions.

Assigned to interview Mico and uncover the story behind his assault and his refusal to identify his attackers, journalist Danny is unprepared for his reaction to the other man. Mico is afraid to let Danny into his life, and Danny is unsure how to change his mind. Mico is also keeping secrets, and he isn’t the only one. Danny is determined to protect Mico, and he’s determined to show Mico that their feelings for each other can thrive amidst the mechanics of Mico’s existence.

If you enjoy romantic tales of heartbreak turned to hope, the life-affirming story of Danny and Mico will make you believe in the possibility of love for everyone—no matter what obstacles they face.

Author Bio

C.L. Etta, a bartender’s daughter, became the apple of her parents’ eyes at her first dimpled smile. Developing a lifelong passion for reading, C.L. spent summers riding her bicycle to the library where she filled the handlebar basket with books. Much to her chagrin, C.L.’s mother often found her under the bedcovers with a flashlight, reading in the middle of the night.

Fast-forward to college, where C.L. spent good times burning bras, working in summer-stock theater, trying out potential husbands, then to her parents’ and in-laws’ delight, finally started a family. Having raised three kids and a husband, and with varied careers as a secretary, credit union loan veep, a software support rep, a mortgage broker, and a nurse under her belt, C.L. decided it was time for a break. So, she retired.

It wasn’t until life had slowed that she heard voices—sexy male voices. Intrigued, she listened. She discovered new friends who clamored for their stories to be told. So, it was back to school where she stood outside the creative writing classroom with students who observed her silver hair and mistook her for the teacher. After completing class and going on a cruise, she sat at her computer and began telling her boys’ stories.

Eighteen months later, C.L. has contracted with two different publishers for four books. The voices in C.L.’s head are as loud as ever, giving C.L. the impetus to keep writing.

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