More Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Best of Lists for 2016 and This Week’s Schedule

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More Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Best of Lists for 2016

We are still in the process of looking over all the great stories and covers of last year as there were so many.  I know its so hard to choose favorites.  How to pick a favorite story when one may be a comedy and one a drama?  When one had you bent over laughing so hard your stomach ached and the other left you sobbing with an empty tissue box?  So hard I know.  I have the hardest time, that’s why my list will be on the last Sunday of the month.  I’m still mulling mine over, adding, subtracting…its crazy.  But most of the reviewers here have been far better at it than I.  Here is Lila’s list.  Plus we still want to hear from our readers, there’s a giveaway associated with your comments.

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STRW 2016 Best of Giveaway

We will pick one random reader who leaves a comment with their year end Best of (along with their email addresses) to receive a $10 DSP gift card.   Contest ends January 29, at midnight.  Must be 18 years of age or older.

 

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Lila’s Best of 2016

Favorite Book of 2016

Bitter Legacy by Dal Maclean


Favorite Short Stories

Pride Weekend by Charlie Descoteaux

Loud and Clear by Aidan Wayne

Guardian by Jordan Taylor

Favorite e-Books

Trailer Trash by Marie Sexton

Rock N Soul by Lauren Sattersby

The Pirate of Fathoms Deep by Megan Derr

Favorite Audiobooks

The President’s Husband by Michael Murphy

Good Boy by Anne Tenino

Trust by Ella Frank

Worth Mentioning

Enemies of the State by Tal Bauer

Risk Aware by Amelia C. Gormley

Ghosts by Jackie Keswick

Murderous Requiem by Jamie Fessenden

To the Highest Bidder by Caitlin Ricci

Murder Once Seen by J.T. Hall

The Scholar’s Heart by Antonia Aquilante

The Assassin’s Pet by Nana G.

Favorite Covers

Horsefeathers by Caitlin Ricci – Designed by Natasha Snow

I Love You More Than Pierogi by K.A. Merikan – Designed by Anna Sikorska

Heartscapes by M.J. Williamz – Designed by Sheri [Graphic Artist 2020]

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This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Sunday, January 15:

  • COVER REVEAL for Dating in Retrospect by Lila Leigh Hunter
  • A Free Dreamer Review:  The Little Crow by Caitlin Ricci
  • A Melanie Release Day Review: Extrasensual Perception by Rayna Vause
  • More Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Best of Lists for 2016
  • This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 Monday, January 16:

  • RIPTIDE TOUR Finding You Feet by Cass Lennox (giveaway)
  • DSP GUEST POST Aidee Ladnier
  • Release Day Blitz: Delayed Gratification by Tamryn Eradani
  • DSP GUEST POST Jaime Samms on Permanent Ink
  • Review Tour – Clare London’s Chase The Ace (London Lads #1)
  • A MelanieM Series Review:Jack of Thorns, Knight of Flames & Lord of Ravens *
  • A Stella Release Day Review:  By the Numbers by Chris Owens and Tory Temple
  • A VVivacious Review: Delayed Gratification by Tamryn Eradani
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review:  What’s in a Name? by Pat Henshaw and David Ross  (Narrator)

Tuesday, January 17:

  • DSP GUEST POST Marina Ford on Lovesick
  • Blog Tour  – Max, Brad, and Maisie Mystery Series by L.G. Fabbo-Gonnella
  • Review Tour – Silvia Violet’s Revolutionary Temptation
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Undercover Boyfriend by  Jacob Z. Flores and Rusty Topsfield (Narrator)
  • A Lila Review: Revolutionary Temptation by Silvia Violet
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Winter Oranges by Marie Sexton and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)
  • An Alisa Review:  Hanukkah Gifts by  Jacob Cheyenne

Wednesday, January 18:

  • RIPTIDE TOUR Afraid to Fly by L.A. Witt (giveaway)
  • DSP GUEST POST Kim Fielding on Love Is Heartless
  • A Caryn Release Day Review:  The Mighty Have Fallen by Bonnie Dee
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Cemeteries by Moonlight by Hunter Frost
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Permanent Ink by Jaime Samms
  • A VVivacious Release Day Review: In Your Court by Reece Pine

Thursday, January 19:

  • DSP GUEST POST Ariel Tachna
  • DSP GUEST POST Elizabeth Noble on “Quarry
  • Blog Tour Schedule – Max, Brad, and Maisie Mystery Series by L.G. Fabbo-Gonnella
  • Nachos & Hash (Mary’s Boys, Novella One), Brandon Witt Guest Blog/Giveaway
  • Release Blitz & Review Tour – Anna Martin – The Impossible Boy
  • A Jeri Review: Afraid to Fly (Anchor Point #2) by L.A. Witt
  • A Lila Review: The Impossible Boy by Anna Martin
  • A Paul Review: Max, Brad, and Maisie Mystery Series by L.G. Fabbo-Gonnella

Friday, January 20:

  • An Interlude Press Tour “Lunch With the Do-Nothings and the Tammy Dinette by Killian B. Brewer
  • DSP GUEST POST Jon Keys on Camouflage 
  • DSP GUEST POST Rayna Vause on Extrasensual Perception
  • A Jeri Review: Please Don’t Go by Felice Stevens
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Suddenly Yours by Jacob Z. Flores and John Solo (Narrator)
  • A Stella Review: Do Not Disturb by Chris Scully
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Camouflage by Jon Keys

Saturday, January 21:

  • RJ Scott….The First Wolf Tour and Giveaway
  • Release Blitz & Review Tour – Watching and Wanting by Jay Northcote
  • A Jeri Review: Dare You To by Riley Hart
  • A MelanieM Review: The Prince of the Moon by Megan Derr
  • A MelanieM Review:  The First Wolf by RJ Scott

 

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A MelanieM Release Day Review: Extrasensual Perception by Rayna Vause

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

extrasensual-perception-by-rayna-vauseIf a stalker doesn’t kill them, the heat between them might.

Christopher Vincent is desperate enough for a job that he accepts an offer to entertain as a psychic in a friend’s nightclub. Jackson Whitman, one of the club’s co-owners, is less than thrilled by the new act. To him, psychics are ridiculous and a liability. But when they come face-to-face, attraction flares to life between them.

Someone is watching Jack and Chris from the shadows. What starts as a series of creepy encounters leads to deadly attacks.

Jack and Chris must set aside their differences and work together to survive a homicidal stalker. But can they survive their explosive connection?

What a great story! Suspenseful, sexy, romantic with tones of the paranormal to spice things up! Extrasensual Perception by Rayna Vause has it all and then some.  A first book for me by this author, I fell immediately under this writer’s spell when she opened up her story with a chapter that is scary, haunting and ends on a note of uncertainty.  Boom, I’m hers.  I had to double check…is this really a Dreamspun Desires story?  Yes indeed it is but with a tilt more towards the Gothic novels I loved as well.

Christopher Vincent’s mother is famous as a medium but she’s had a stroke.  With mounting medical bills (and his mouth without a filter that’s cost him his job), they’ve had to close up her Fortune Telling store.  She’s in a slow recovery and rehab and Chris needs a job.  On top of that?  There are these terrible nightmares he’s been living with.

Vause slowly builds up her characters, and their relationships that are closely intertwined with one another, her settings, until she has a beautiful tapestry of lives and complicated personal dynamics waiting to be sorted out as a murderer stalks them all.  Its a crazy wonderful mixture of old lovers reuniting, a brother and sister trying to live their lives with the legacy of a toxic father, a mother and son truly gifted with sight, and a crazed killer on the loose.  Vause pulls it all together and makes magic.

Every character here is a layered human being.  I love watching Jack go from disbelief over Chris’ gift to full on acknowledgement of his ability to “see” events that will happen, feel things (made all the more real by Vause’s vivid descriptions).  And Chris?  I fell for him immediately.  Someone who doesn’t want to use his gifts, unlike his mother, but who is pulled by forces and the need to protect his friends into using every gift he’s tried so hard to reject.

We also get flashes of pov from the stalker’s/killer.  Yes, that definitely ramps up the action and suspense while not taking you out of the narrative.

Yet there is still a terrific lovers reunited storyline here.  Not buried like you may think, but woven in as part of the whole.  I loved that too.

This ends as it should, a HFN.  I would love to see everyone here reunited in a sequel.  This is  just too superb a couple (and secondary characters) to see them languish with just one book.  I hope this author is listening.  I highly recommend this book.  Grab it up and get started!

Cover art by Paul Richmond is just as terrific as the novel.

Sales Links

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Book Details:

ebook, 208 pages
Expected publication: January 15th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634776828 (ISBN13: 9781634776820)
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Free Dreamer Review: The Little Crow (Heart of Darkness #1) by Caitlin Ricci

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Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

the-little-crowDetective Jamison Landry’s job isn’t easy. He’s dealt with the worst criminals imaginable and believes in his work and the community he serves. But he’s never met someone quite like Mal before.

The mysterious man, rescued from a basement in which he was chained by cultists, keeps Jamison guessing. He both confuses and excites him, and Jamison isn’t sure how he feels about that. Plus, things turn from unusual to downright strange when people start insisting Mal isn’t quite human. And Jamison’s creepy dreams of crows and graveyards don’t make things any better for him.

Will Mal stay around long enough for Jamison to figure out his secrets, or will this stranger leave him aching for more?

This is my third book by Caitlin Ricci, and the first fantasy book I read by her. Since I really liked the first two contemporary books, I figured this was a safe bet. Well, unfortunately “The Little Crow” left me rather disappointed.

I never understood the attraction between Jamison and Mal. Mal is annoying and stalkerish and Jamison repeatedly tells him to get lost – which Mal ignores. At one point, Mal is forced to do some pretty awful things to Jamison. Jamison is understandably pissed and feels betrayed. Mal does feel guilty, but instead of explaining why he did what he did and giving a proper apology for it, he was just annoyed that Jamison was once again telling him to stay away. The apology that came eventually was too late and too little for me to believe Jamison’s forgiveness.

Jamison was difficult to connect to. I just don’t know what to think of him. He seemed oddly naïve and innocent for a policeman. Mal repeatedly says, “You shouldn’t have freed me.” And Jamison never wonders why. I could never quite get a handle on his emotions. He was very difficult to read, even when I was reading his POV.

Mal was much easier to read. I didn’t necessarily like him, but he was simple. He had some funny ideas how to deal with people he didn’t like and he was extremely protective of Jamison.

The plot felt very unfinished. All we learned was that Mal is a weird guy. Subplots are introduced and then left hanging, going nowhere. This is only part 1 of the series, but it still felt rather unfinished.

The general idea was interesting and certainly had potential, which the author sadly never quite fully realized. The world was rather lacking, too.

The one thing I found truly fascinating was Mal’s second form, the crow. I wish there’d been more about that.

All in all, this book just wasn’t for me. Too little everything, really. I won’t continue this series.

Cover: The cover by Natasha Snow is absolutely gorgeous. That crow looks amazing and the background colours are perfect.

Sales Links

NineStar Press

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Book details:

Kindle Edition, 252 pages
Published September 12th 2016 by NineStar Press (first published November 29th 2012)
ASINB01LGPNL12
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesHeart of Darkness #1

Cover Reveal for Dating in Retrospect (States of Love) by Lila Leigh Hunter (excerpt and giveaway)

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 Dating in Retrospect (States of Love)  by Lila Leigh Hunter
Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist:
L.C. Chase

Release Date: February 15, 2017

Pre-Order Link*

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Book Blurb

Giving the commencement speech at his alma mater doesn’t fit Clay Keller’s meticulous schedule. As Chief Executive Officer of Travel Mogul—the largest travel connoisseur company on the West Coast—he has no time to get back in touch with his country roots. He left fifteen years ago without a second look, but a medical scare makes him change his mind about the speech and brings him face-to-face with his only regret.

Time always moves slower in Southeastern Iowa, and Aaron Grant loves it. He’s added solar farms to the Grant Lanes portfolio and has been teaching at the local university for a decade. The last thing he needs is to have his tenure application compromised by the return of his ex-boyfriend. If he had known who the commencement speaker would be, he would never have volunteered to be the administration liaison.

A proposal—to date for a year—will help them discover that time changes a person, even when everything else stays the same.

Category: Romance
Genre: Contemporary
Sex Content: Explicit
Pairing: MM
Orientation: Bisexual
Identity: Cisgender
Length: Novella

Words: 38,800
Pages: 101

Excerpt

©2017 Lila Leigh Hunter

All Rights Reserved

Back to the future and all of that were Clay’s first thoughts as he stepped out of the car. The campus looked the same—Midwest Americana at its best. Redbrick buildings and perfectly pruned trees surrounded him, but as if the last fifteen years hadn’t happened, Clay’s world narrowed to the man waiting at the top of the portico stairs. The only thing time had changed? Them.

“Here’s your receipt, Mr. Keller,” the valet said, interrupting Clay’s musings. He didn’t remember being as young as the valet. Mr. Keller was his father, but Clay didn’t feel like correcting the man’s error.

“Thank you.”

“Not a problem. The man in the light gray suit is Professor Grant. He will be your escort today.”

“Perfect,” Clay responded, smiling at the mention of having an escort at his service, especially one whose body he knew well. With a nod and a tip, Clay left the valet behind, turning his attention back to Professor Grant. Professor. Aaron had done it after all. Clay had never doubted it, even after Aaron decided to stay and work at his family’s farm instead of moving with him to LA. Now he needed to find out if he had a chance with Aaron. At least having him there, waiting for him, had to be a good sign. Today was his lucky day indeed. True, he hadn’t expected to see Aaron so soon. He had planned to stop by the farm after the commencement, but he was ready either way. Life had been rough lately, but having the opportunity to see Aaron again was worth coming back to the middle of Nowhere, Iowa.

He walked casually toward the man he’d left behind many summers ago—a man standing like a prizefighter, waiting for Clay to reach him. With only a couple of feet between them, Clay’s step faltered. Aaron didn’t seem happy to see him, more like he was ready to bolt before Clay got to him. Shaking his head and keeping his eyes on his prey, he closed the distance and extended his hand in greeting.

“Professor Grant, I believe you’re expecting me?” He hoped his smile would ease Aaron’s frown.

“That I am, Mr. Keller. As the university liaison, it is my pleasure to welcome you back to your alma mater and to convey the president’s and the board of trustees’ deepest regards.”

“How long did it take you to memorize that spiel? As far as I remember, you weren’t fond of formalities.” Neither of them let go of the other’s hand. Aaron’s touch, familiar and foreign, branded him in seconds.

“Ass.”

Aaron didn’t expect the hug that followed. As soon as their bodies touched, Aaron tensed, but Clay held him tighter.

“Relax, sunshine. It’s been a while.” Clay let Aaron go, but not before he rubbed his trimmed beard against Aaron’s clean-shaven face as he moved back.

Meet the Author

Lila Leigh Hunter is the pen name of a Puerto Rican author with a hyphenated surname. Born and raised on the island, Lila grew up making up stories her siblings pretended to like. But no matter what they say, as the youngest of six, she’s still their mom’s favorite. According to the dusty diplomas on her wall, she’s an architectural designer living in Southern Texas with her husband and four military brats.

She spends most of her free time writing homoerotic romances about middle-aged men finding happiness and the rest hiding from pesky house chores. When outside of her cave, she likes to observe people and try to guess their stories. Sometimes she wishes the voices in her head were real; going out with the boys in her books sounds like a plan made in heaven.

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Rafflecopter Giveaway

(January 15th to January 21st – to be deliver on release day)

Dating in Retrospect Rafflecopter Giveaway

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* live around 11pm ET on 1/14 for a 1/15 reveal