The Last of the Best of 2016 and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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The Last of the Best of 2016

 

As this is the last weekend of the month, we will finish up our Best of 2016 and leave that year behind.  So here’s the last of our Best of Lists of 2016.  We are well on our way to accumulating our lists for 2017.  I know that Blood Stained Tea (The Yakuza Path #1) by Amy Tasukada and There’s This Guy by Rhys Ford are already on my list for this year.  Wow.  That’s a great start!

Our Contest ends tonight so there’s plenty of time still to get your list in:

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.

Paul and I are up today.  So let’s hear from PaulB next on his favorites from 2016:

PaulB’s Best of the Year 2016

From Paul B: I am going to cheat a bit here.  Normally these lists are top ten kinds of affairs.  However, since a lot of the books that I read and review are from series, I’m going to abbreviate my list and group books in series together if they were released this year. 

Top Books/Series of 2016

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Best Covers of 2016

WolfsongFor A Dragon's Persuasion coverfor-a-dragons-controlFor a Dragon's Enthusiasm (Highland Dragons #9) by Charlie RichardsFor A Dragon's Redemption coverEnemies of the Stateenemy-of-my-enemy-by-tal-bauerinterlude-first-noel-by-tal-bauer

 

 

 

 

 

~📚~

  • Wolfsong  by TJ Klune, Cover Artist Reese Dante—The simple paw prints on a black background sets the mood of the book
  • Highland Dragon series by Charlie Richards, Cover artist Angela Waters—Ms Waters never fails to create stunning covers for this fantasy series set in Medieval Scotland
  • Running Blind by Kim Fielding and Venona Keyes, Cover artist Anna Sikorski—The two arms linked together by a cord sums up the book perfectly
  • Demon Elite series by April Kelley, Cover artist Latrisha Waters—Simple cover always captures the essence of the title characters of the books.
  • Executive Office series by Tal Bauer, Cover artist Natasha Snow—Gorgeous Washington settings with perfect representations of the main characters

CrashWolf Demon EliteCosmoAshley

MelanieM’s Favorite’s  of 2016

Devil at the Crossroads

Favorite Covers of 2016

The ForesterThe Forester II- Lost and Found coverFull CircleA Triad in Three ActsUntilSeptember_600x900Dormant HeartUnder a Sky of AshOut of Nowhere

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All the Covers of The Tales of the Forest by Blaine D. Arden – Cover art by Simone

Until September by Chris Scully, Cover art by Lou Harper

Fantasy for a Gentleman (A Planet Called Wish #2) by Caitlin Ricci, Cover art by Caitlin Ricci

Circus of the Damned by Cornelia Grey, Cover art by Kanaxa

Devil at the Crossroads by Cornelia Grey, Cover art by Jared Rackler

Out of Nowhere by Roan Parrish, Cover art by Angsty G

Dormant Heart by Lane Swift, Cover art by Anna Sikorska

Under a Sky of Ash by Brandon Witt, Cover Art by Anne Cain

Do-Gooder by J.Leigh Bailey, Cover art by Aaron Anderson

The Unlikely Prospect (States of Love) by Lex Chase, Cover art by Reese Dante

Fantasy for a Gentlemando-gooder-by-j-leigh-baileyTheCircusoftheDamned_500x750the-unlikely-prospect-by-lex-chase

 

 

 

 

 

With special nod to the stylized covers of Will and Patrick Get Married, yes all of them.  Just a delight!  I don’t know who the artist is.  If you do, please let me know.

will-patrick-collage-1024x1024

 

Unlike my covers, most of which had a lush artistic look, my favorite books ran the complete spectrum of fictional genres from contemporary to supernatural to fantasy to science fiction.  Three were series finales, four actually if you include Full Circle.  If you haven’t read any of these trilogies/series, start now!

Favorite Stories of  2016

Our readers still commented with their favorites.

From Our Readers:

📚jenf27 

Thanks for sharing your lists! I loved a lot of those same books. Here is my list from last year:

Fallow by Jordan L .Hawk
A Family for Christmas by Jay Northcote
Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin
Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin
Hexworld series by Jordan L. Hawk
The Weight of It All by NR Walker
A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale
Wolfsong by TJ Klune
The Mermaid Murders by Josh Lanyon
Trailer Trash by Marie Sexton
Strong Signal by Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell*
Inversion Point by Jenn Burke & Kelly Jensen
Phase Shift by Jenn Burke & Kelly Jensen
Dirty Heart by Rhys Ford
Foxes by Suki Fleet
King’s Rising by C.S. Pacat
Dancer of Death by Jordan L. Hawk
Nightingale by Aleksandr Voinov
Cold Fusion by Harper Fox

📚Didi:

Thanks for sharing your list, I saw quite a number of titles I haven’t read, so this really help me to add more to my TBR. My own best of 2016 is not much; Jordan L. Hawk’s Fallow & Hexmaker, Josh Lanyon’s So This Is Christmas, Lloyd A. Meeker’s Stick & Stones.

Keep those lists coming!

Announcements

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Wilde City will be closing its doors in 2017.  They were another wonderful press and will be greatly missed. From their authors and stories to their amazing covers, Wilde City Press was a class act! From Ethan and Wilde City Press, their announcement:

To all our friends, readers, reviewers and fans of our authors,


Due to various personal reasons it is with a heavy heart that we have decided to close Wilde City Press. We have enjoyed every moment of our journey over the past four years, and want to thank everyone who has been a part of our adventure.

 

Over the next few months we will be ensuring that everyone who has worked with Wilde City will be paid in full and have their rights returned to them. We are very proud of the work our authors and editors have given to the world, and we hope these books will be published again to be enjoyed for many more years to come. For members of our book club, we will give you plenty of time to back-up any files you have purchased through our site so you don’t lose anything.

 

We want to say a sincere thank you to all the authors who put their faith in us, the readers who have supported us and the incredible friendships we’ve made over the years. Rest assured we are not disappearing from our beloved industry; Ethan and Geoff will continue writing as authors, Adrian will continue to design amazing book covers, and all of us will forever be a part of this cherished tribe of book lovers.

 

From your friends at Wilde City Press,

Ethan, Geoff, Tracy and Adrian

So long, Wilde City Press!  We will miss you!

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Sunday, January 29:

  • Release Blitz – Cristina Bruni’s Seven Days
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Undertow: A Whyborne & Griffin Universe Story by Jordan L Hawk
  • The Last of the Best of 2016 and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, January 30:

  • DSP GUEST POST Ki Brightly on Trust Trade 
  • Release Day Blitz The Visionary by Charli Coty
  • RIPTIDE TOUR Making Love by Aidan Wayne
  • Review Tour – Watching and Wanting by Jay Northcote
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Watching and Wanting (Housemates 4) by Jay Northcote
  • A VVivacious Release Day Review: Making Love by Aidan Wayne
  • An Ali Review: Falling into Darkness by LM Brown

Tuesday, January 31:

  • Blog Tour: Adrift by Isabelle Adler (excerpt and giveaway)
  • In the Spotlight: Soothsayer by Cari Z (excerpt and giveaway)
  • Release Blitz: Rick R Reed’s A Face without a Heart
  • A Lila Review:  Soothsayer by Cari Z.
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: A Face Without a Heart by Rick R. Reed
  • A Paul B Review:  Descent of Kings: Books BUNDLE by Maria Albert
  • An Ali Review:  Soothsayer by Cari Z.
  • An Ali Review: Stallions and Ice by Stephani Hecht

Wednesday, February 1:

  • RIPTIDE TOUR: Rogue Magic by Kit Brisby
  • Cover Reveal for Secrets of You by Skylar M. Cates
  • “Spell Fall” by Jacob Z. Flores tour and giveaway
  • An Alisa Review: Rogue Magic by Kit Brisby
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: Thick & Thin (THIRDS #8) by Charlie Cochet
  • An Alisa Review: American Telepath (Dragons Schooled #2) by Emily Carrington
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Worst Best Man by M.J. O’Shea
  • An Alisa Release Day Review:  Inheritance by Sean Michael

Thursday, February 2:

  • Blog tour  for COZZI COVE: STEPPING OUT by Joe Cosentino (guest post)
  • DSP GUEST POST Sean Michael on Inheritance
  • A Caryn Review: The Star of Versailles by Catherine Curzon & Willow Winsham
  • A Lila Review:  The Visionary by Charli Coty
  • An Ali Audiobook Review: Crime Wave by Adam Carpenter narrated by Joel Leslie
  • An Alisa Review:  Silent Night by Shawn Bailey

Friday, February 3:

  • DSP GUEST POST Z. Allora on The Craving
  • BLOG TOUR The Black Sheep and The Rotten Apple by K.A. Merikan
  • Terrible Twos by Megs Pritchard tour and giveaway
  • A MelanieM Review: Happy Medium (Club Raven #1) by Julia Talbot
  • A VVivacious Release Day Review: The Craving by Z. Allora
  • An Alisa Audio Review: Redesigning Max (Foothills Pride #2) by Pat Henshaw and David Ross (Narrator)

Saturday, February 4:

  • The Fire Trilogy – RJ Scott Tour
  • A Paul B Review: For a Dragon’s Control (Highland Dragons #10) by Charlie Richards
  • A MelanieM Review: Wishful Thinking (Club Raven #2) by Kiernan Kelly

 

the-best-worst-mana-face-without-a-heartcrime-wave-audiobook-coveramerican-telepathfor-a-dragons-controlthe-craving-by-z-allorarogue-magic-by-kit-brisbyundertow

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Undertow (Whyborne & Griffin #8.5) by Jordan L. Hawk

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

undertowIn an era of very non-equal rights for women, Miss Maggie Parkhurst (Whyborne’s secretary) is given a voice and the fortitude to seek and to follow through on her desires. She’s also extremely clever and has the strength of conviction when it comes to her belief in assisting the woman she’s come to love: Persephone, twin to our favorite hero, Percival Whyborne. This clever installment in the Whyborne & Griffin series takes place concurrently with Whyborne’s visit to Kansas where he and Flaherty have gone in the story, Fallow.

Maggie is attracted to Persephone but hasn’t had the courage to let her know, and indeed, Maggie is struggling with that attraction as the story opens. But as the menace comes to a head, and Persephone is endangered, Maggie’s strength and persistence are what saves the day.

With this novella, Ms. Hawke shows her versatility by creating a strong FF couple and seamlessly weaving their story into what is already a memorable and highly enjoyable series. There’s nothing even mildly disruptive here, and in fact, I enjoyed Maggie’s musings on why Dr. Whyborne seems to always need his friend, the detective Griffin Flaherty, with him on all his trips. Later in the story, the pensive Maggie thinks it odd that the handsome Mr. Flaherty never seems to be in the company of a woman, rather he seeks to visit Dr. Whyborne at the museum, and at times, he even eats lunch with him there. These little sidebar thoughts added just the right tone of whimsy and speculation, and I thoroughly enjoyed them.

There was some semi-explicit lady loving later in the story, easily skimmed for those who aren’t into girly bits, but the story was principally about the mystery of who is killing ketoi. We also get a revisit from the Fideles group and an opportunity to see the defensive powers of the “librarians” led by Mr. Quinn—another highly enjoyable segment of the story.

I wouldn’t recommend reading this as a standalone, but it’s the perfect complement to the series and serves to enhance the overarching mystery surrounding the Widdershins paranormal activities. Plus, it’s nice to know that Whyborne’s sister is going to get her HEA with the indomitable Maggie Parkhurst. Highly recommended.

Cover art by Lou Harper is lovely and pertinent to the story.

Sales Links

Amazon | Amazon UK | Kobo | Smashwords | Nook | iBooks

Book Details:

ebook, 90 pages
Published January 20th 2017 by Jordan L. Hawk
ISBN13 9781941230237
Edition Language English

Release Blitz for Seven Days by Cristina Bruni (excerpt)

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Cover: JM Snyder
 
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Length: 61,269 words
 

Blurb


During a golf tournament in Virginia, American golfer Reggie Weston meets Russell Lee, the British former world champion in the sport. The two men hit it off when Russell takes Reggie under his wing, teaching him the tricks of the game.


As their friendship deepens, Reggie finds himself falling in love with the Englishman, though he knows Russell doesn’t feel the same. He’s painfully aware of the fact that Russell isn’t gay.


But there’s more to Russell than meets the eye. He’s a troubled soul, plagued by monsters in his head telling him who he should be. He’s spent most of his life hiding his sexuality from the world so he won’t disappoint his homophobic mother.


Is seven days enough time for Russell to break through the years of hurt and accept the new direction fate has in store for him and Reggie?

Excerpt

The Englishman beat him at pool, winning both matches. Reggie wasn’t upset, though, as every moment of their evening together was delicious. Everything apart from the beers Russell drank one after another, until he got so drunk, Reggie decided it was time to return to the resort.

“Tomorrow you have a tournament to win,” Reggie reminded him, pulling him out of the bar with difficulty. The silvery rays of the smiling moon lit the boardwalk, giving it a magical atmosphere.

“I won’t win any tournament tomorrow,” the Englishman murmured, gritting his teeth as he stopped in the middle of the road.

Reggie pushed him across the same moment a car zoomed by, blaring music.

“If you don’t rest a little, you won’t win anything,” he admonished, like a brother. Then he nervously massaged his cheek. He wasn’t accustomed to feeling it covered with hair.

“You can’t wait to shave?” Russell asked.

“No, no. It’s just that…I’m not used to it. But do I look good, at least?” he wanted to know.

The Englishman chuckled. “I already told you I won’t answer until tomorrow.”

A second later Reggie found himself holding car keys. “And these?” he asked, giving them an interrogative look.

“You drive, if you want us both to play tomorrow,” the Englishman said.

“Oh…okay,” Reggie stuttered, as if it was the first time he saw a car key in his life.

Russell fell into the passenger side seat and completely opened the window, putting his elbow out, then resting his head on it. He remained in that position until they reached the resort.

From time to time, the notes of the Nickelback rock song “How You Remind Me” cradling them both, Reggie gave him admiring looks. His long hair, now free, danced in the wind. The way he sat made the veins in his neck tense like cords, and Reggie stared at his strong profile, his long, light eyelashes…

God, what he would do to lay his lips on that face and give it little kisses?

They stopped at a traffic light just before reaching the resort. Reggie kept his eyes fixed on the red light, because they had already strayed too much to Russell’s face.

“What was your parents’ reaction when you told them?”

Reggie turned, surprised. Russell had spoken without moving a muscle, apart from his lips.

“Told them what?” “That you’re gay.”

Oh, that…

“Not much,” Reggie explained with a chuckle. “My father pretended to be upset for less than ten minutes and then he hugged me. Mom told me she was a little sorry because she wouldn’t have any grandchild to take care of, but she could accept it if I didn’t bring home too many buff guys.” It was clear that binge drinking was making Russell ask strange questions…

Sitting back, Russell started, “When Daniel, the friend I told you about, came out…”

They entered the tree-lined resort path and Reggie hung on every word, waiting for Russell to finish his sentence.

“…my mother ordered me not to go out with him anymore. She told me she thanked God I wasn’t like him, or I could never return home.”

Reggie stopped the car in surprise. “Shit, Russell,” popped out of his mouth.

The Englishman gave him an inscrutable look.

“I mean,” Reggie continued, lightning his tone, “I don’t want to seem rude, but it’s just that…well, it seems your mother is a little, well…”

“Harsh?” Russell asked ironically.

“Let’s say that,” he agreed, driving again.

He’d have liked to add a thousand other things and ask more, but he felt scared. Russell had just given up a part of himself, a little window into his past that maybe not everybody knew, and Reggie felt intimidated. He wanted to know more, but at the same time, he feared reopening old wounds that needed to heal.

“I’m sorry,” was all he said. “Me, too.”

They parked behind the cabana and Reggie helped Russell get out of the car.

“I’m fine,” Russell murmured. “No,” Reggie said, “you’re drunk.”

Russell tried walking on his own but stumbled on the sidewalk as soon as he stepped onto it.

“Okay, maybe it’s better if you help me, Weston.” Supporting Russell, Reggie slid an arm around his side.

His body was warm against Reggie’s, and he hugged Russell in a sort of leaning embrace. It was a delicious sensation, and for a moment, Reggie dreamed of what it would feel like to Russell him again and again, maybe on a frigid winter afternoon in front of a fireplace, or on a hot summer night on the beach.

They passed in front of the tiki bar without caring what others might think. From the speakers around the pool blared Eminem’s hit song, “The Monster.”

At the door to Russell’s cabana, he searched his pockets to find his keycard. When he tried to insert it, he missed. He tried again, but he was too drunk. Finally he gave up and handed the keycard to Reggie without looking over. Reggie followed the silent order, like a good little soldier.

The cabana greeted them with silent darkness, lit only by the rays of the setting sun that shown through the open door.

Again, there was no trace of Danielle, not even her perfume lingering in the air.

Russell threw himself on the bed and toed off his shoes. “Do you hear this music, Reggie?” he whispered, rolling onto his back.

Reggie had remained by the door, not sure what to do. Go or stay? His mind suggested he leave, but his heart wanted to stay.

“Yeah, it’s Eminem,” he answered, putting his hands in his pockets.

“Open the window a little, please. I want to hear the words.” Reggie obeyed, closing the door and opening the window.

A light breeze roused him, adding melancholy to melancholy.

At the window, Reggie studied the bar and swimming pool, because looking at Russell, drunk and lying in bed, was unbearable.

Unbearable and wonderful.

 

Author Bio

Cristina Bruni lives in northern Italy with her husband and their child. She’s already published many M/M novels in Italy with Triskell Rainbow publisher. Since she was a young girl, her biggest wishes were being a mother and an author and now, after fighting for it for years, she finally succeeded in both. She loves travelling abroad, going to the cinema, reading Sherlock Holmes, luxury bags and playing tennis and golf. She’s madly USA-sick and UK-sick.

She made her debut writing fanfictions and, now, her new wish would be writing love Male-to-Male stories for the rest of her life and living on a beach in Hawaii.

Maybe dreams will come true again, sooner or later…

Blog https://cristinabruniauthorblog.wordpress.com/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CristinaBruniAutrice
Twitter https://twitter.com/Cristina__Bruni
Instagram https://instagram.com/cristina.bruni/
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7164783.Cristina_Bruni

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