New Love, New Beginnings. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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New Love, New Beginnings. Hey, Its March!

March sails in this week full of itself!  March is a month just popping with meaning and celebrations of all kinds.  The Vernal Equinox begins March 20th (although it has felt like Spring here for days).  There’s the Ides of March (poor Caesar), St. Patricks Day (get out your green), World Wildlife Day is on the 3rd, International Forest Day is on the 21st and more religious days than I will go into here. Here in the States, even Daylight Savings Time returns (ugh).

For me, however, it signals the return of spring. New growth of all types from buds and tiny leaves appearing from shrub to perennial flowers to birds busy with their nesting building in anticipation of young to follow.  The eagles at the National Arboretum have already laid their first egg of the season. Yes, love is in the air whether it be new love or that of established lovers like the eagle pair I just mentioned.  Of course, that’s my link to my topic this week and perhaps this month.

Love stories! What’s your preference?  Do you even have one? New Love, New Beginnings. Lovers Reunited, Second Chance at Love?  I have to admit I have a huge fondness for the second trope.  I love it when ex-lovers get a chance to have their HEA, to get that love that de-railed back on track after whatever broke them up and time gone by (go ahead count up the cliches, lol).  But then again, ah, those stories of men finding their soul mates and never letting go, no matter the obstacles.  They grab me too.  Ok, I love them both.  How about you?  Do you all have a preference?  Yes? No?  I’m dying to find out. Giveaway time!

Give me your favorites and why.

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New Love, New Beginnings Love Story Giveaway

This week its name your favorite New Love, New Beginnings Love Story Giveaway.  Random reader chosen will get a $10 Dreamspinner Press gift card.  Its a short contest.  A new one starts next Sunday.  So comment all week along until midnight Saturday, March 4th.  Leave your email address, along with your favorite new love stories and why you love them.  Winner will be announced next Sunday along with our new contest!  Hey, its Spring, lets go crazy with love stories!

 

 

Spring Beauties

 

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Sunday, February 26:

  • After the Fire by Felice Stevens Release Day Blitz
  • In Our Author Spotlight:  Catt Ford on Cross My Heart and other releases
  • Release Blitz – Rick R Reed’s Class Distinctions
  • New Love, New Beginnings. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, February 27:

  • In the Spotlight: Ethan Stone on Hacked Up
  • INTERLUDE PRESS TOUR Beneath the Stars by Lynn Charles
  • SNAPSHOTS release blitz by Addison Albright
  • A Free Dreamer Release Day Review: We Met in Dreams by Rowan McAllister
  • A Stella Release Day Review: Until You by TJ Klune
  • An Alisa Audiobook Review: Romancing the Wrong Twin by Clare London and Rusty Topsfield (Narrator)
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Black Market Blood (New Canadiana #2) by Francis Gideon

Tuesday, February 28:

  • RIPTIDE TOUR BLOG and Giveaway: As La Vista Turns by Kris Ripper
  • Release Blitz/Review Tour – Ghost (Sanctuary #9) – RJ Scott
  • Release Blitz – Posy Roberts’  Momo, My Everything
  • A Melanie Release Day Review: Countermind by Adrian Randall
  • A Paul B Review: Credo (Demon Elite 8) by April Kelley
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review : Ghost (Sanctuary #9) by RJ Scott

Wednesday, March 1:

  • COVER REVEAL Between the Secrets by S. Ferguson
  • DSP GUEST POST Karen Stivali on Moment of Fate
  • DSP GUEST POST T.A. Chase on Why I Love Waiters
  • A Caryn Review: Goodnight My Angel by Sue Brown
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Snowblind by Eli Easton
  • A Stella Release Day Review:  My Paradise is You (World of Love) by Lucie Archer
  • An Alisa Release Day Review:  The Real Thing by BG Thomas

Thursday, March 2:

  • HARMONY INK PRESS GUEST POST Adrian Randall on Countermind
  • DSP GUEST POST Rowan McAllister on We Met in Dreams
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: Secrets of You by Skylar M Cates
  • An Alisa Review: Tortoise Interruptus by JL Merrow
  • An Alisa Review: Chinese Morning (Dragons Schooled #3) by Emily Carrington

Friday, March 3:

  • Blog Tour: Ardulum: The First Don by J.S. Fields
  • Blog Tour Fallen Angel by Eden Winters
  • DSP GUEST POST: BG Thomas on The Real Thing
  • A Lila Review: Jumping In (ALPHAS #6) by Cardeno C.
  • A Melanie Release Day Review: The Sparky by Marek Moran
  • A Paul B Review: Webb (Demon Elite 9) by April Kelley
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Why I Love Waiters by TA Chase

Saturday, March 4:

  • Release Blitz – Nell Iris’ Unconditionally
  • Release Day Blitz: Guns n’ Boys: Bloodbath by K.A. Merikan
  • A Stella Review: Beneath the Stars by Lynn Charles
  • A MelanieM Review: Love Tokens by Megan Derr

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Release Blitz – Rick R Reed’s Class Distinctions (excerpt and giveaway)

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Buy Links: JMS Books | Amazon US | Amazon UK 


Publisher: JMS Books


Length: 11,546

Blurb

Kyle and Jonathan were perfect for each other, the two halves that, once together, made a whole. And then one snowy night just before Parents’ Weekend on the campus of Hamilton University, Kyle drops a bomb: he’s breaking up with Jonathan.

Follow the couple through the stormy (in more ways than one) night that ensues. Why has Kyle suddenly decided to throw away something so precious and good?

The answers lie in their backgrounds, and will gradually come to light as a winter blizzard rages around the young couple.

Their tortured paths bring them to the covered bridge where their love had sprung to life on a hot summer day. But will the warmth of that memory and the heat of the love they once shared be enough to outclass the storm, and more importantly, bring them back together?

Excerpt

Jonathan got up, grinning, and crossed the room, ready to fling open his door and his arms to Kyle. He could picture his boyfriend in his mind’s eye: the short muscular build, the hazel eyes, the mop of curly sandy hair that blended so perfectly with the constellation of freckles across his nose. He thought of the little tragus piercing in Kyle’s ear that for some inexplicable reason, Jonathan adored and could always be counted upon to play with his tongue, which drove Kyle nuts. The knock sounded again, and Jonathan took exactly three seconds to check his image in the mirror above his dresser. His blond hair had been cut that morning and, with a little dab of gel, looked stylish and alluring, the classic combo to his pale blue eyes and dark lashes. He wore only a plain white T-shirt and a pair of plaid boxer shorts. He figured they’d be naked soon enough, so why bother with a complicated ensemble that would only slow them from getting to the main course?

Jonathan would swear his heart began to beat faster and he got a little breathless as he approached the door. He couldn’t stop the beaming smile that spread across his face as he reached for the knob.

But that smile vanished when he saw Kyle standing out in the hallway, staring down at the floor and radiating dejection. His shoulders slumped and there was about him an overall lack of energy. When he managed to tear his gaze away from the tile floor, he looked at Jonathan with sadness. Jonathan frowned too when he could discern no excitement, no joy to see him, in those hazel eyes.

This was not the picture he had been anticipating when he swung open the door.

“Good God, Kyle, what’s the matter? Is everything okay?”

Kyle’s gaze returned to the floor and Jonathan shook his head, reached out and forcibly pulled his boyfriend inside the room, closing the door behind him. Jonathan cocked his head, “What’s wrong, sweetheart?” He smelled cooking grease on Kyle, the after-effect of toiling in the Hamilton University student cafeteria. Normally, he would suggest the two of them slip down the hall and into a shower together — a nice, sudsy, both clean and dirty beginning to their three-day weekend.

But the game plan seemed to have changed. Kyle’s bad mood, so rare and unexpected, cast a pall on the anticipation Jonathan had felt only moments ago.

Kyle didn’t answer.

Jonathan turned down the music, which was Moby’s “We Are All Made of Stars” and said, “Sit down, Kyle. Let’s talk. It’s obvious from your face, hell, from even the way you’re standing there that something is very wrong. What is it? Trouble in one of your classes? Is that Psych bitch giving you problems again?”

Kyle slumped down in one of the desk chairs, his long legs extended before him, the rest of his body sort of curled into itself. Jonathan wondered why Kyle didn’t take a seat on the bed, so they could at least sit side-by-side, but he let the move pass without comment.

“No. Everything is cool in my classes. In fact, I’m on track to make the dean’s list this quarter.” Not even a glimmer of a smile heralded this happy news. Kyle simply continued to appear distant and, yes, forlorn.

“So what then? Work? Trouble at home?”

Kyle snickered when Jonathan mentioned home — and Jonathan had no idea why. One of the mysteries with Kyle was that he had never been too forthcoming about his home life, only that he was from a small town in eastern Ohio, on the Ohio River, and that he was an only child. Jonathan still had no idea what his parents did for a living or how he even felt about his old hometown. Kyle shook his head. “No. And no.”

Jonathan didn’t want to entertain what the other possibility could be. He sank down onto his bed, nausea rising in his gut as he pondered being told Kyle had cheated on him (he was, at least in Jonathan’s mind, about the most handsome hunk on the campus of Hamilton University), or that he “wanted to see other people” or that he “needed a break” or that “it’s not you, it’s me” and he needed to end things between them.

But none of those scenarios could possibly be true, could they?

Author Bio

Rick R. Reed is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love.

He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a three-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Caregiver, Orientation and The Blue Moon Cafe). He is also a Rainbow Award Winner for both Caregiver and Raining Men. Lambda Literary Review has called him, “a writer that doesn’t disappoint.”

Rick lives in Seattle with his husband and a very spoiled Boston terrier. He is forever “at work on another novel.”



Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/rickrreedbooks
Twitter: www.twitter.com/rickrreed
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RickReedWRITER
Blog: http://rickrreedreality.blogspot.com/
Website: www.rickrreed.com
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rick-r-reed
Email: rickrreedbooks@gmail.com

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DSP GUEST POST: Catt Ford on Writing, Favorites, and her latest release ‘Cross My Heart’

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Cross My Heart by Catt Ford
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reamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Catt Ford

Sales Link at

   

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Catt Ford here today. Welcome, Catt.

~Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words interview with Catt Ford~

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I like a lot of my stories, but I love The Last Concubine. That one holds a special place because it was such a challenge to write.

A friend had asked me to write a story about a man who liked to dress as a woman. Not a trans person, just a man who enjoyed living his life as a woman, not as a sexual fetish, just because he liked it. I wanted to do my best for her and write the story with respect for the man’s choice.

While I was preparing, I happened to see a show that mentioned a Chinese warrior princess who fought beside her husband, the king of the province. I asked what if this princess wasn’t really a woman, but a man who chose to live that way. I could see the natural competitive drive that would drive him out to the battlefield in disguise.

I love historical romance and China provided a great background for a story, full of power, politics and intrigue. I started the research, reading about the historical acceptance of homosexuality in China and the passion of the cut sleeve, where the Emperor Ai of Han was supposed to have cut off his sleeve, rather than wake his male lover when he had to get out of bed.

And then Lan’xui was born. I could see him touching the silk of his robes, putting on makeup and jewelry, and feeling pretty. I felt the overpowering need for Lan’xui to give up the privilege afforded to men and choose to live a life with less opportunity and freedom, but still longing to be seen and loved. In a sense, Lan’xui’s disguise is a metaphor for how we all hide ourselves and long for acceptance and love.

The story is set in one province, and I loved creating the ambiance of the court and the harem, and all the characters that Lan’xui interacts with as he struggles to keep his secret and yet expose a part of who he is.

When I go back and read it, sometimes I can’t believe I wrote it. I still get drawn along to find out what happens next.

I think the experience of writing this book opened the way to write Cross My Heart, which is a contemporary romance with the same theme of a man who lives and dresses like a woman.

As a professional graphic artist, I do my own covers so I usually know what I want and just go for it. For The Last Concubine, I looked for a photo of an Asian man who could pass as a woman, with a little help from hair and makeup. Yes, that is actually a man on the cover. I just painted him up and dressed him in women’s clothing. I loved the secret insular look of the front cover and the wide, open spaces on the back.

And my friend really loved it. Success!

Catt Ford

Bio: Catt Ford lives behind the orange curtain in southern California with a partner and two familiars in the form of cats whose fur is as black as their evil little hearts. She is a graphic artist by day and a storyteller by inclination. Catt enjoys the research required for writing a believable story. She is a rabid card-carrying fan of bull riding and also enjoys swing dancing. She gets drunk on words and sometimes over imbibes, but loves to write about love and happy endings.

Latest Release: Cross My Heart

Blurb:

Do you believe in love at first sight?

Roland Reynolds—or Lana Renault, as she’s now known—knows that life is no fairy tale. Fortunately she has her trusted friends, nicknamed the dwarfs, to keep her company. She lives her life to the fullest while keeping what’s beneath her skirt to herself.

American painter Daniel Hunter is no stranger to adversity either, and it’s left him with not only strength but secrets. Unlike Lana, he remains aloof, content to observe life and beauty from the sidelines… until the first time their eyes meet on a crowded Paris street.

Cupid’s arrow finds its mark in Daniel, but while Lana longs for romance, she knows there’s no prince in her happy ever after. If their story is to have a fairy-tale ending, Daniel will have to convince Lana to let down her walls—and, in the process, reveal what he fears sharing the most.

Media contacts for Catt Ford:

Blog: catt-ford.livejournal.com

Twitter: Catt Ford @catt_ford

After the Fire by Felice Stevens Release Day Blitz (excerpt and giveaway)

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Now Available at Kindle Unlimited!
After The Fire by Felice Stevens

About the Book

A single bullet destroyed the dreams of Dr. Jordan Peterson. With his lover dead, Jordan descends into an endless spiral of self-destruction that nearly costs him his friends, his career, and his life. When Jordan finds himself working closely with the aloof Lucas Conover, the investment banker’s mysterious past and unexpected kindness shocks him back into a life and emotions he’d thought lost forever.

The betrayal by the foster brother he’d worshiped taught Lucas Conover never to trust or believe in anyone. Living a solitary life couldn’t free him of the nightmare of his former life; it reinforced his belief that he would never fall in love. When the death of one of his clients forces him to work closely with Dr. Jordan Peterson, he meets a person whose suffering exceeds his own. Though Jordan rejects his effort to help, something within Luke pushes him discover more about the first man to ever get under his skin.

As Luke lets down his guard and Jordan lets go of his pain, desire takes control. Each man must come to terms with past struggles if they are to create a future together. And learning to trust in themselves and love again after tragedy and a lifetime of pain may be the only thing that saves them in the end.

Excerpt

“It’s only been nine months. God almighty, did you expect me to forget him already?” Horrified, Jordan swept his hand across the table, sending the empty bottles and food containers crashing to the floor. “Keith and I were together for almost four years. You haven’t even been with Ash a year; could you forget him so easily? Stop pressuring me to move on with my life. It’s over for me. There will never be anyone else.”

“So you plan on drinking yourself into an early grave, losing your job and quite possibly your friends along the way?” Drew placed a hand on his arm. “I don’t think Keith would expect you to mourn him forever.”

“I didn’t expect to have to mourn him at all. He was supposed to be here, with me.” The tears, always threatening below the surface, spilled over, coursing hot and fierce down his cheeks. It seemed he hadn’t stopped crying since Keith had been murdered. “I can’t get past it. No matter what I do, he’s always there with me, and I can’t let him go.” All the fight and anger left him deflated like a balloon several days after a party. An ineffable weariness stole through him, and he laid his head on his arms on top of the table. “Go home, you two. Leave me alone.”

Without a word, Ash found the broom and dustpan and began to clean up the broken glass while Drew remained seated next to Jordan at the table.

“Look, I understand what you’re feeling. But destroying yourself isn’t going to bring him back. We know you miss him.”

“You don’t understand.” Jordan shook off Drew’s attempt to comfort him. “I’m beginning to forget him. Not only his voice but also the way his arms held me. The way the sound of his breathing calmed me so I could fall asleep every night.” His breath caught in his throat, and a shudder racked his body.

Jordan couldn’t reveal the worst—that he could no longer recall the press of Keith’s lips on his or the sweet sweep of Keith’s tongue in his mouth. The warmth and smoothness of Keith’s skin, once as familiar as Jordan’s own, had begun fading to a cold and distant memory. Sometimes he’d sit in bed late at night and play his voicemail messages simply to hear Keith’s voice. How fucking disloyal a love was he? It had only been nine months, yet Keith’s touch, something he’d longed for every day of his life and sworn he’d never forget, had slipped away like fog in the summer wind. Gentle and swift, leaving no trace behind that it had ever existed.

About the Author

I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending around the corner, My characters have to work for it, however. Like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love, but getting there is oh so fun and oh so sexy.

I live in New York City with my husband and two children. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass (or two of red wine). I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there are bound to be a few bumps along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

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