Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Scotty Reedville has had his office job for two years, long enough to fall for Ryker Callen, head of the landscaping crews. It’s ridiculous, really. How could he fall for someone so completely his opposite in every way? Answer: he couldn’t help it. Still, Scotty would never make a move because he doesn’t think Ryker would go out with a guy who wears braces and snaps at everyone.
However, when Ryker is injured in a softball game one weekend and needs a place to live temporarily that doesn’t have steps, Scotty’s boss Gavin suggests he stay with Scotty. The time they spend together is both the best and worst thing that has ever happened to Scotty, and he doesn’t want it to end. But it must.
Thankfully, Ryker has other plans. Can the two men stumble their way to love?
This was such a cute and sweet story. Scotty has been admiring Ryker from afar knowing that no one would want him, brace face and all. When their boss pretty much invites Ryker to live with Scotty while he is injured Scotty gets put in the best and worst situation of his life.
Scotty keeps everyone at a distance with his snappish attitude but can’t help and hope that he will find that special someone he needs and you can’t help but feel for him. He and Ryker both keep their feelings to themselves for so long that it’s almost too late when they finally do. It was wonderful watching these two dance around each other for so long but finally opening up enough to let the other in.
The cover art by Written Ink Design gives a wonderful visual of both Scotty and Ryker.
ebook, 39 pages
Published: March 25, 2017 by JMS Books
Edition Language: English
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Sammy Raphael is a crappy witch, and on top of that, he can’t seem to get a boyfriend. Where other supernaturals can bring down lightning and manifest wealth, Sammy can paint. Granted, the “prophetic” paintings he creates at night always come true, but they never predict anything important. Sammy feels like a total loser with a worthless ability.
One night he paints a gorgeous guy who turns out to be his secret crush, the human Ryder, but Ryder’s changed so much he’s almost unrecognizably beautiful. Then Sammy paints an angel who turns out to be a witch. But is that witch also a devil—a devil who can bring down Sammy’s whole community and everyone he loves? And why the hell does Ryder keep changing? Aloysius, the black cat familiar, always backs a winner. So why is he backing Sammy?
I looked forward to reading this story since I finished Spell Cat when it re-released last year, however this on didn’t seem to have the same pull as the first book. Sammy really does feel sorry for himself but makes a point of not showing others how he is feeling even when things are really bad. He even continues to “date” someone that doesn’t feel right because he is so desperate for a relationship.
Ryder looks out for Sammy even as he continues to deny is attraction to him. He knows that Lucien is bad news but can’t really explain why. Though in the end it helps him to finally open up about who he is to Sammy.
A good majority of this story is told from Sammy’s point of view and you can’t help but feel his pain as he tries to live with his unrequited love and secrets he is forced to keep. Even when things seem like they can’t get any better he continues to do what is right to help his people. Ryder also suffers silently unable to reveal his real self to his friends, but jumps in when he can help Sammy and can no longer deny his feelings. There were quite a few “duh” moments throughout this story between the main characters and also supporting characters that just didn’t fit and repeating of information at times. This story didn’t have the same flow as the first book which makes me a bit hesitant to read the next book but I probably will just so I can see how everything plays out in the end.
Cover art by Reese Dante is wonderful and I love the visual of Sammy.
ebook, 200 pages
Published: 2nd Edition, April 14, 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English
Series: The Aloysius Tale #2
The Bravest Thing by Laura Lascarso
Cover art by Angsty G
Available for Purchase at
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Laura Lascarso here today sharing thoughts about herself, writing and her latest novel, The Bravest Thing. Welcome, Laura.
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Laura Lascarso
Do you feel there’s a tight line between Mary Sue or should I say Gary Stu and using your own experiences to create a character?
Well, in THE BRAVEST THING, one of my characters struggles with addiction. This has been a thread in my husband’s and my own family for many years, and it’s a topic I keep coming back to in my writing. It doesn’t always dominate the plot, but aspects of drug and alcohol abuse make appearances in my stories again and again. I’m still working through it, I suppose, and because I have some personal experience with it, I feel like I can speak from a place of compassion and understanding.
Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?
I think so. I read a lot of fast-paced thrillers and horror growing up, so even though I’m writing romances now, I like for them to be tightly plotted with a bit of psychological distress thrown in. For me as a reader, it’s all about the inner tension that makes the story come to life and keeps me turning pages, so I try to do the same as an author.
Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it? You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?
I actually just had this experience with a work-in-progress. My main character has a deadbeat dad (as did I), and I found myself drawing from my own experiences and dredging up feelings of abandonment I thought I’d put to rest. It was interesting for me, because while my rational side knew I was writing a character with an absent father, I didn’t connect it to my own life until I started to dig into the character’s backstory. That’s also one of the things I like about writing—being able to work through some of my own “issues” and process situations I might otherwise gloss over or tamp down. The world moves a little too quickly for me sometimes, and writing allows me some space to reflect and heal.
Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?
I like both as a reader, though I’ve only ever written happy-for-now endings in my own work. I think that’s because my characters tend to be younger and in stages of flux and self-discovery. I like to think that even if my characters don’t end up together forever, they are forever changed by their experiences with their special someone, which is kind of like real life. We are forever altered by the people closest to us, for better or worse.
Do you read romances, as a teenager and as an adult?
My mother was pretty permissive as far as books and movies go, so I was reading Danielle Steel and Jackie Collins from a pretty young age. I also read just about every Sweet Valley High that was published in the late 80’s. SVH gave me both the love and devotion of Elizabeth’s steady boyfriend and the excitement of Jessica’s scandals and conquests, usually involving a cute boy. Genius, really. As for now, I’m reading a lot of great M/M romances, partly for pleasure and also to study the craft or romance and its conventions. I didn’t come from the world of fan fiction, as I’m discovering a lot of M/M authors did, so I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do.
Who do you think is your major influence as a writer? Now and growing up?
I’m sure I’ve been influenced by the writers I read growing up, in particular Dean R. Koontz and Stephen King, but I remember Kurt Vonnegut’s CAT’S CRADLE being a real game changer for me. The voice of that book spoke to me on a deeply personal level—both in terms of my philosophy on life and my nihilistic outlook at the time—and I went on to read most of Vonnegut’s work. It’s a special treat to have that mind meld between author and reader and I think that’s been my quest ever since, to give my readers a similar experience.
As a side note, I read all my reviews. I’m kind of addicted to feedback. The act of writing is pretty isolating, so it’s affirming to have people read your work and take the time to offer comments. I don’t even mind if people don’t like my books, because the act of reading is interpretation on a deeply personal level, and it’s their right to dislike it.
How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?
As a reader, I love ebooks—they’re convenient, inexpensive and environmentally friendly. The rise of ebooks has allowed for a much wider variety of book and reader. Any writer can find their base, and any reader can find their passion. I think ebooks will only grow over time and I look forward to being part of that revolution.
I also like the old fashioned paperback—the mustier the better. Those got me through some lonely times growing up, so I hope that format won’t be leaving us anytime soon.
How do you choose your covers? (curious on my part)
I’ve worked with AngstyG on both my Dreamspinner covers (THE BRAVEST THING and ANDRE IN FLIGHT). The background on that is I somewhat scientifically went through DSP’s catalog and picked out the covers that matched my aesthetic most closely. AngstyG’s name kept popping up, so I requested her specifically.
With regard to the process, once my books enter into production phase, I send her pictures of what I think the characters look like along with some other covers I’d like for her to emulate and she turns my gobbledygook into genius. She provides 3-5 concepts and we tweak them from there. I have such faith in her artistry that next time I think I’ll have her design the cover first, and then I’ll write the story to go along with it. ☺
Do you have a favorite among your own stories? And why?
I tend to shy away from picking favorites among my darlings, but THE BRAVEST THING is very special to me. Both the characters are very endearing in their own way and the issues they’re dealing with are relevant to our times and political climate. It’s my first attempt at dual narration, and I really liked how it allowed me to get deeper into both their characters and their counter-perspectives. I think for this story it worked very well.
What’s next for you as an author?
Right now I’m finishing up a best-friends-to-lovers romance about two teenaged boys in South Florida—something on the lighter side. I also have a thriller I’ve put on the backburner that I may take another stab at. The avant garde in me wants to attempt a literary version of DINNER WITH ANDRE, but I may back out if it turns into a snoozer. One of my friends once told me that the only thing my ex-boyfriends had in common was that they were all very different, and I think my writing is a little bit like that. I’m continuously growing as an artist and trying new things, and I think my stories reflect that. That sometimes annoys the readers who want something the same, only a little different. My promise to readers is that while my next story might not be what they expected, my goal is that they’ll enjoy it nonetheless.
About The Bravest Thing
High school junior Berlin Webber is about to reap the fruits of his hard work and land a football scholarship—if he can keep his sexuality a secret from his best friend, Trent, and their homophobic coach. Then Hiroku Hayashi swerves into the high school parking lot on his tricked-out motorcycle like some sexy comic book villain, and Berlin knows he doesn’t stand a chance.
Hiroku is fleeing his sophisticated urban scene to recover from drug addiction and an abusive relationship when he arrives in Berlin’s small Texas ranch town. Initially sarcastic and aloof, Hiroku finds in Berlin a steady, supportive friend who soon becomes more. As Hiroku and Berlin’s romance blossoms, they take greater risks to be together. But when a horrific act of violence tears them apart, they both must look bigotry in the face. While Berlin has always turned to his faith for strength, Hiroku dives into increasingly dangerous ways of coping, pushing them in opposite directions just when they need each other most.
Two very different young men search for the bravery to be true to themselves, the courage to heal, and the strength to go on when things seem darkest. But is it enough to bring them back together?
About the Author
Laura Lascarso strives to inspire more questions than answers in her fiction and believes in the power of stories to heal and transform a society. She lives in North Florida with her darling husband, two children, and a menagerie of animals. Her debut novel, Counting Backwards (Simon & Schuster 2012) won the Florida Book Award gold medal for young adult literature.
For social critiques, writer puns, and Parks and Rec gifs, follow her on Twitter @lauralascarso
Title: An Officer’s Submission
Series: Cuffs, Collars, and Love #4
Author: Christa Tomlinson
Publisher: Self- Torlina Publishing
Release Date: March 15
Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex
Genre: Romance, erotic romance, contemporary, D/S, established couples
Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Author Christa Tomlinson
Hello, I’m Christa! I’m originally from St. Louis, Missouri and I currently live in Houston, Texas. I have two dogs, I’m a former teacher and I’m a retired roller derby player. I’ve been reading romance novels since I was eleven! My big sister let me read hers as long as I promised to skip the “grown up” parts. I always said I would skip them but read them anyway. I was a rebel. My current book is An Officer’s Submission. It’s an erotic BDSM romance, featuring men from my fictional version of the Houston Police Department SWAT team. This story is about Officer Clay Foster, who loves being a submissive, but still struggles with that part of himself. And his Dom, Sergeant Logan Pierce, who will do anything for his submissive.
1. What inspired you to start writing?
I started reading early, so I progressed to higher level books pretty quickly. I loved the stories I was reading so much, that I knew I wanted to create my own by the time I was eleven.
2. How long have you been writing?
I started trying to write in middle school. But it wasn’t until about 2008 that I really sat down and began completing stories.
3. What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?
Get the words down! Don’t worry about editing, agents or whether or not it’s any good. Just write so it so you can have that goal reached. Then you can worry about the other stuff. You can’t sell what isn’t written.
4. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
Yes. But for me, I think it only happens when I’m not prepared enough. So when it does, I stop and do more planning and outlining. Once I have a better road map, the block usually disappears.
5. Who is your favorite author and why?
Johanna Lindsey. I don’t read m/f historicals anymore, but she’s the romance author I read the most growing up. Her books are great, but what I love most about them is how detailed the characters were. Especially her Mallory clan. I strive to create characters with that much depth and personality.
6. What are you working on now and what are your plans for the future?
I’m currently writing the next and probably last book in the Cuffs, Collars, and Love series. Officer Hector Castillo, the sniper from the team, is getting his own story next! I’ve already finished the rough draft and I’m planning for a June or July release. After that, I’ll be making a sub-genre shift. I’ve wanted to write historical fantasy for a long time now, and I’m in the planning stages for my first project. I’m very excited about it!
Thank you for having me on your blog today! I appreciate the opportunity to discuss my work and look forward to chatting with your readers. Readers, feel free to drop any questions you have for me in the comments. Have a wonderful week!
“You don’t ever have to keep anything you feel locked up, Clay. I’m your Dom, and whatever you need from me, I’ll gladly give to you.”
– Sergeant Logan Pierce
Police Officer Clay Foster is finally at peace and happy with his life. He enjoys his career as a member of Houston’s SWAT team, and he loves submitting to his Dom in the bedroom. His life is perfect, until one cruel act destroys Clay’s bubble of happiness. Shattered trust forces Clay to reevaluate his career, his relationship, and himself.
Sergeant Logan Pierce is the leader of Houston’s elite SWAT team. On the force, he’s the best at what he does. In private, the most important thing in his life is taking care of his submissive, Clay. Clay is his whole world, and Logan will do whatever is necessary to keep him safe. Even if that means going up against Clay’s stubbornness in order to help him heal.
Can Logan and Clay work together to rebuild their happiness? Can they find their way back to the shared passion of Dominance and submission? Or will their love and relationship end before it’s truly begun?
An Officer’s Submission is Book Four in the Cuffs, Collars, and Love series. If you love romance that is epic, emotional and erotic, you’ll want to give this series a read!
“It’s good to be back home.”
Logan looked down at him with an eyebrow raised. “Home?”
Clay snorted a laugh. As usual, they were at Logan’s house. When he thought about it, he realized he hadn’t been back to his apartment in weeks. In fact, his bags from their recent trip to Colorado were here at Logan’s. He hadn’t bothered to take them back to his place after their return.
“If I’m in your space too much, I can throw all my stuff in the car and head back to my apartment,” he said as he pretended to pull away.
Logan tightened his grip on his foot. “You’re not going anywhere.”
Clay bit his lip to hold back a grin. “I didn’t think you wanted me to. But what I meant is, I feel good about life. That trip was awesome. I got to play in the snow, just like I wanted.”
“And I got to warm you up when you were done.”
“You did a very good job. You might have gotten me a little overheated a few times,” he teased. He wiggled his toes as Logan squeezed his foot again. “You and I are in a great place. And I think things are going to be better at work now too. We redid Hayden’s ridiculous course and passed with flying colors this time. I’m hoping the fact that we passed the redo means Hayden will get off our backs and quit fucking with our schedule.”
“The team is gelling again. And we’re hoping Hayden will finally move on and give up on his pet project of tormenting our team. Anything else?”
Clay shifted, looking at the TV instead of Logan. “What else is there?”
“Are you still blaming yourself for that idiot making those fake calls to our team?”
Clay pulled his feet off Logan’s lap for real this time and got up from the couch. “Why wouldn’t I blame myself? It was my fault.”
“It wasn’t your fault. And I don’t like hearing you say that it was.”
“C’mon, Sarge. You know that was on me.” Clay roughly ran a hand through his hair, turning his back on his lover. “If I hadn’t gone to that convention and went on camera bragging about how badass our team was, that whacko would have never taken it as a challenge to try and prove he was better than us.” He turned back around as Logan grabbed his hand and pulled him to stand in between his legs.
“Maybe not. But maybe he would have taken his anger out in another way.”
“What do you mean?”
“You read the report Roberts put together on the guy. He was looking for revenge because he felt he’d been slighted too many times. What if he’d physically attacked the people he wanted revenge against? Someone or several someones could have been hurt. At least with the revenge tactics he chose, no one was. We managed to catch the idiot, and hopefully he’ll be granted some time to think about what he did.”
“Are you forgetting he tried to kill me?” Clay saw a muscle tic in Logan’s jaw at the question, his hazel eyes going hard before he answered.
“No, I’m not forgetting.”
Clay tilted his head to the side as he studied his lover. “You know, I noticed that the perp seemed a little worse for wear before you got him loaded in the patrol car. Did you do anything to cause that?”
“I’ll never let anyone hurt you.”
Logan’s response was a non-answer, but it confirmed Clay’s suspicions. “I’m a cop. On occasion, I might get hurt. And you can’t go after people because of that.”
“And you’re mine. Did you forget that?”
Clay shook his head. “No, Sir.”
“Come here.” Clay followed the gentle pull Logan gave his hand to drop down to the couch and straddle his lap.
“You’re my lover. My submissive. It’s my right and my pleasure to protect you, always.” He brought a hand up, his thumb sliding across the metal collar that circled Clay’s neck. “I won’t let anything or anyone hurt you or take you away from me.”
A thrill shot through Clay at that declaration. Logan’s unapologetic possessiveness had caused problems early on in their relationship, but they’d worked on it and come to an understanding on boundaries. Now, he was able to revel in Logan’s possessiveness and caring, because he knew it wouldn’t get out of hand. Clay pressed his forehead to Logan’s and closed his eyes. “I love when you talk to me like that.”
Logan’s hand moved to grip the back of his neck. “Do you?”
His eyes still closed, Clay nodded.
“Tell me why.”
“Because it makes me feel like the most important thing in your world. I’ve never felt like that with anyone.”
“It’s true. You are the most important thing to me. Having you in my life, wearing my collar, means everything to me.”
Clay opened his eyes and looked into his lover’s gaze, seeing the sincerity there. Not that he doubted him. Logan had proven time and time again how much he loved him. “I don’t deserve you, Sir. And I don’t do enough to show you how much I love you in return.”
“You don’t have to do anything to deserve me. I’m with you because I don’t ever want to be with anyone else.”
“Well, maybe I can show you what I feel tonight. Physically.”
Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Apple iBooks | Kobo
Meet the Author
Christa Tomlinson is an exciting up and coming author in erotic romance. Her first self-published novel, The Sergeant, was an Amazon Best Seller for Gay and Lesbian Erotica for seven weeks straight.
Christa graduated from The University of Missouri-St. Louis with a degree in History. She loves to create stories that are emotional and lovely with sex that is integral to the characters’ romantic arc. Her books include straight couples, curvy couples, gay, and multicultural couples. Love is love and everyone should have their story told.
Christa lives in Houston, Texas with her two dogs, and is a retired roller derby player.
April 13th – Two Chicks Obsessed with Books and Eye Candy
April 14th – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
April 15th – MM Good Book Reviews
April 16th – Boy Meets Boy Reviews
April 17th – My Fiction Nook
April 18th – Love Bytes Reviews
April 19th – Erotica For All
April 20th – Nerdy Dirty & Flirty
April 21st – Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews
April 22nd – Booklover Sue
Huntsmen by Michelle Osgood
Published April 13th 2017
Months after saving Jamie and Deanna from crywolf, Kiara and her brother Cole have moved into the city. While clubbing one night, Kiara is stunned to see her ex, Taryn, onstage. But before she can react, Jamie notices a distinctive tattoo in the crowd: an axe rumored to be the mark of the Huntsmen, a group of werewolf-tracking humans. The girls need to leave immediately—and since Taryn is also a werewolf, they need to take her with them.
The Huntsmen are more than a myth, and they’re scouring the city for lone wolves just like Taryn. Until the General North American Assembly of Werewolves lends a plan of action, Kiara’s small pack is on lockdown in a friend’s apartment, where she and Taryn must face the differences that drove them apart. Furthermore, the longer the group waits, the more it seems the Huntsmen haven’t been acting entirely on their own.
* * *
She couldn’t imagine a future without a pack… could she?
* * *
* * *
“You can’t come back here.”
Confronted by an upheld palm, Kiara halted at the stairs that led backstage.
“This area is for performers only.” The Latina woman’s face was set in bored lines; her yellow shirt identified her as one of the club’s staff. Clearly it was not the first time she’d turned someone away that night.
“Look, I’m meeting—”
“Hun, I don’t care if you’re meeting Evan Rachel Wood herself. Performer’s only.” The woman enunciated the last part without managing to pull her attention from the room behind Kiara.
The prickling behind Kiara’s eyes mounted and was echoed in the flesh of her gums.
“Maria, hey.” Ryn pushed back the black curtain. “Come on, let her through.”
“Tar—” Reluctance was heavy in the woman’s voice. “You know I’m not supposed to.”
“I won’t tell if you won’t, ‘kay? This is my girlfriend. We won’t cause any trouble. Promise.” Ryn held out her hand past Maria.
Kiara placed her hand in Ryn’s and plastered a smile across her face. “I’ll be good.” She added a flutter of her eyelashes and coaxed a blush to her cheeks. Ryn’s skin was hot under her palm. Touching Ryn had always felt like touching the sun.
“You’d better be,” Maria warned as she stepped aside and let Kiara through.
“Thank you.” Ryn winked at Maria, and Kiara heard the woman’s heartbeat accelerate in response. With a valiant effort, Kiara swallowed her huff of annoyance.
The back of the stage was dimly lit. Ryn kept Kiara’s hand in hers as she led the way, deftly avoiding the few other performers who loitered about, waiting for their turns on stage.
“We have to go,” Kiara repeated. She spoke more loudly now that they were away from everyone else.
“I heard you the first time.”
“Then what are we doing?” Kiara’s fingers curled perfectly around Ryn’s. She wanted to yank her hand free. She wanted to kiss the spot where they fit so well together.
“I have to get my bag.”
Ten years. Surely ten years was long enough for feelings to fade, for the memory of what they had been to dull. She shouldn’t feel the bright hurt, the greedy hunger, as though it had been yesterday.
In the back of her head a siren screamed, a warning that she didn’t have time for this. Kiara’s grip on Ryn’s hand tightened involuntarily.
“I’m not leaving it. There’s five thousand dollars’ worth of equipment in there.”
“Ryn, you heard me. The Huntsmen are here.”
“Maybe.” They reached a set of lockers, and Ryn wriggled her fingers free of Kiara’s. “Aren’t you the one who told me they’re a myth? Do you really think they’d show up in Vancouver? At a drag king show?” But even as she spoke she opened the locker door and pulled free a large duffle bag.
“Werewolves are supposed to be myths, too.”
“And yet,” Ryn conceded. She slung the bag over her shoulder. “My bike is out front.”
* * *
About the Author
Michelle Osgood writes queer, feminist romance from her tiny apartment in Vancouver, BC. She loves stories in all media, especially those created by Shonda Rhimes, and dreams of one day owning a wine cellar to rival Olivia Pope’s. She is active in Vancouver’s poly and LGBTQ communities, never turns down a debate about pop culture, and is trying to learn how to cook. Her first novel, The Better to Kiss You With, was published by Interlude Press in 2016.
Huntsmen is available from Interlude Press on April 13, 2017. Connect with author Michelle Osgood at michelleosgood.com; on Twitter @OsgoodMichelle and on Facebook at facebook.com/osgoodmichelle.
Book Tour Rafflecopter Giveaway:
Grand Prize $25 IP Gift Card + Multi-format eBook of Huntsmen // Five winners receive the multi-format eBook. Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
At night, he paints. In a world where the supernaturals can bring down lightning and manifest wealth, Sammy can paint. What happens when a witch’s “prophetic” paintings always come true and his latest painting is of the human he has a crush on? The answer? Magic!Check out the brand new cover for the 2nd Edition of BRUSH WITH CATASTROPHE!!