A Stella Review: The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember

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RATING 5 out of 5 stars

Having long-wondered what lives beyond the ice shelf, nineteen-year-old mermaid Ersel learns of the life she wants when she rescues and befriends Ragna, a shield-maiden stranded on the mermen’s glacier. But when Ersel’s childhood friend and suitor catches them together, he gives Ersel a choice: say goodbye to Ragna or face justice at the hands of the glacier’s brutal king.

Determined to forge a different fate, Ersel seeks help from Loki. But such deals are never as one expects, and the outcome sees her exiled from the only home and protection she’s known. To save herself from perishing in the barren, underwater wasteland and be reunited with the human she’s come to love, Ersel must try to outsmart the God of Lies.

I fell in love with this book since the first time I saw its cover, too cute and well done to be ignored by a cover whore like me. Then I read the blurb and guess what? The first cartoon I remember from my childhood, which videotape I still save, is The Little Mermaid, that’s why I was so curious to see how a new to me author would turn this fairytale into a FF retelling.

I have to say I loved The Seafarer’s Kiss a lot. I took my time at reading it and each time I put my eyes on a new chapter, I was surprised and satisfied. First of all the characters were awesome, each of them, they were beautifully delined and the growth they went throught was clear and always positive. Ersel in particular was beautifully done, she was fierce and brave, as Ragna was too. And that was the reason why they were a match made in heaven.

Nothing in the plot has been left to the chance, how and why our MCs met, why they needed to be parted, how they were together again, and the lovely happy ending. Mixed with these, a lot of things happened, event after event that took me engaged till the end. I got to know some great characters, like Ersel’s mum, who broke my heart with her huge love for the daughter she is ready to let go, and then Havamal, the ex-bestfriend who betrayed Ersel, and the dreams they made together, to join the guards of the evil king.

The story took place in a well craft world and it surprised me, I wasn’t waiting for so many details, I was able to understand and emphatize with not just Ersel but with Vigdis too, the popular girl. I felt the despair they had in their souls, how both of them, differently, were ready to do everything it was possible to fullfill their dreams. The writing was perfect for a book like this, where I so wanted to be able to see in my mind this magic world and its ihnabitants. It’s an evocative writing, I could picture every word I read, every new character I met. And I fell for all of them.

I don’t want to say more about the plot because I don’t want to spoil your reading, but I was deeply conquered, all the little twists the author gave to me, were little steps to the success The Seafarer’s Kiss was to me. In this book you can find a contemporary story, with some young adult elements and a fairytale with some mythology added. All blended together.

I have to say, I would so love to read the same story told by Ragna, it would be a copletely different story. I think following her in her travellings and mis/adventures would be incredible and truly exciting. I have just to try and convince the author.

The cover art by CB Messer is so fitting, the same scene can be easily find in the story, exactly like this. And it’s cute, and the style and the colors just perfect.

Sales Links:  Interlude Press | Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 224 pages

Published May 4th 2017 by Duet, an imprint of Interlude Press

ASIN B01MUJHWTO

Edition Language English

A Julia Review: The Rest is Illusion by Eric Arvin

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Magical realism meets coming of age as four Verona College students are thrown together by choice as well as circumstance. When their lives and loves are threatened by blackmail and violence, they respond by using all the means at their disposal—including some they aren’t even aware they possess. But will that be enough to prevent tragedy or even death?

The Rest Is Illusion was first published in 2006 and a second time in 2016. This new third edition allows readers once more to enjoy the incredible story behind Eric Arvin’s first novel. And incredible it is indeed.

The fact that this is the author’s very first novel makes it all the more impressive how refined and confident his writing style already felt by then. Every phrase and sentence seems to be placed precisely and deliberately contributing to the unfolding of the plot and reading experience as a whole. The author upholds this style unbroken throughout the entirety of the book, nothing ever seems out of place. At this point, I usually talk about how location was handled, but since the environment plays such a pivotal role in this novel, I decided to dedicate a whole paragraph to it further down. Let’s take a look at the characters first.

The novel is written in third-person and the perspective, from which the story is told, switches frequently between five students: Dashel, Ashley, Sarah, Tony and Wilder. The author makes very good use of this technique by, for example, hinting at what one character is about to do through the eyes of another or presenting the consequences of the same event from different points of view. The transitions between characters feel fluid and unobtrusive. What’s best, each character is given a very distinct voice befitting his or her unique personality. They all have their own strings of story to tell that frequently intertwine and part ways. I never found myself not getting into a line of narrative or wishing that it would switch back to another. Every single one felt meaningful and worthy of attention.

It would be difficult to pick a favourite character since they are all interesting, likeable or hateable in their own right. But I would say that Ashley, the albino agnostic (as he has been described), and Dashel, who is stricken with a terminal illness, are probably the ones I felt the strongest sympathy for. They both look at other people free of prejudices and strive to embrace life (and death) on their own terms. I loved their free and creative spirits and how they imagined the world around them. Sarah, the Baptist minister’s daughter who struggles to come to terms with the relationship to her father, completes the trio of close friends (and maybe more). They complement each other very well and their interactions were heart-warming to witness.

Tony and Wilder feel very much like outsiders in contrast to the above group and yet they all come to play a significant part in each other’s lives. Tony, who despite first impressions turns out to be a considerate and caring person, tries to suppress his homosexual orientation in fear of losing his current way of life. Wilder’s horrible schemes to assert dominance over his fellow students, on the other hand, present a thoroughly hateable as well as deeply pathetic and wounded character. Seeing how these five people – each one with their own specific set of values and worldviews – interact and clash with each other was a thrilling and fascinating experience.

As mentioned above, the environment in this novel plays a role unlike any I have ever seen before. The deep forests, hidden vales, steep cliffs and hillsides that surround Verona College are alive and teeming with an ancient magic of their own. Being a fan of Magical Realism myself, I was in love with the way the author teases, hints and opens the possibility to a secret otherworld that lies beyond our common field of perception and understanding. But at the same time it is not painted as unreachable for us but closer than we think as long as one approaches it with an open mind free of preconceived opinions. Through his descriptions of the natural world Eric Arvin creates a truly enchanting and deeply mysterious atmosphere that had me hooked immediately and unable to stop reading. The landscape felt so full of personality and life as if it was a character (or many, in fact) on their own.

The story deals with a number of fundamental and timeless issues: the fear of dealing with one’s own mortality, the struggle for recognition and acceptance from others, finding and learning to embrace your true self in a world that tries to dictate who you should be. The subject of sexuality (as well as sexual violence) is breached too but if you’re looking for some light-hearted, steamy tussles beneath the sheets, you will not find them here. This is definitely not a quick read to just kill some time with a bit of superficial distraction.

I loved and enjoyed every aspect of this novel – from the characters to the plot to the world it took place in. I can only highly recommend this to anyone really who is looking (or not) for a profound narrative about the way people interact with one another and the world – or rather, worlds – around them. I know that I will certainly pick up more from this author in the future.

I very much liked the effect of smoothly changing colours and light patterns for the cover art by Wilde City Press. It gives the whole design an almost ominous, eerie feeling that is befitting of the story. The photos of the students looking directly at the reader lend support to that impression as well.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press  | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 200 pages, also available in paperback where if you buy paperback you get the ebook free

Published April 3, 2017

by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13 978-1-63533-825-6

Edition Language: English

A Kai Review: Nate And The New Yorker (Nate and Cameron #1) by Kevin Klehr

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Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

Cameron had it all. He was rich, lived in Manhattan, and even had a cross-dressing butler. But then he met Nate, an Australian who was bitter about love. Cameron was determined to turn this realistic into a dreamer by sharing his world of classy restaurants, Broadway shows, and fabulous parties. And while Nate’s friends saw the makings of a fantasy romance, it was Nate who had to learn that in order to open his heart, he had to face a painful secret.
 
Well, It wasn’t easy to start this review. Actually, when I finished the book I had mixed feelings. But after thinking about everything I’m pretty sure this book didn’t work for me as it could.
 
Although I liked the writing style, I didn’t like the rhythm of the story. It was so fast paced and the situation was rushed and unclear. 
 
I also didn’t like Cameron. He was a total dreamer, spoiled and unrealistic. He fell in love with Nate after a week, and ok, I would buy it if I had seen their interaction. But the author skipped these parts. He just showed the first and the last day of them together in New work, and even that was short and rushed. How can the reader relate to a love so fast if the situations where they interact with each other was out of the book? Needless to say, I couldn’t buy them as a couple. Even when they were together I didn’t feel the connection between them. The story was told in Nate POV and in any moment it felt like he was in love with Cameron. 
Although not loving Nate, I liked him. He was a lot more down to earth than Cameron and his interaction with his friends was great.
 
Almost in the end of the book, I realized the story wasn’t really about Nate and Cameron as a couple. This book was about Nate trying and moving on from his past. He had a secret and was stuck in the past and couldn’t break free. It made my eyes tear up when I learned his story. That realization was why my feelings were a little mixed about this novel and why I had, at first, problems rating this book. 
But in general, the book just didn’t work. The plot had so much potential, could be a so great story but the development was lame. I think if the author at least hadn’t cut Cameron and Nate interaction and the story hadn’t been so fast paced, I could have enjoyed it.
 
Even though I didn’t like this book and wouldn’t read it again, I’m looking forward to the next one in the series. Just because I’m curious and want to know if the next will be less rushed. 
 
The cover art by Natasha Snow is nice and suits the book. The image of a gray city can represent the way Nate couldn’t really enjoy New York city because of his past. And in front of it, Cameron as a powerful man and in color, who was supposed to help Nate to let the past behind. I like it.
Sales Links
 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Nate-New-Yorker-Cameron-Book-ebook/dp/B071DCJCSJ

 
Book Details:
 
Ebook: 85 pages
Publication 2 edition: May 1st, 2017 by NineStar Press
Séries: Nate and Cameron
 
Main Characters

An Alisa Release Day Review: Liar, Liar by TA Moore

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

Just another day at the office.

 

For some people that means spreadsheets, and for others it’s stitching endless hems. For Jacob Archer a day at the office is stealing proprietary information from a bioengineering firm for a paranoid software billionaire. He’s a liar and a thief, parlaying a glib tongue and a facile conscience into a lucrative career. He just has one rule—never get involved with a mark.

 

Well, had one rule. To be fair, though, Simon Ramsey is dark, dangerous, and has shoulders like a Greek statue. Besides, it’s not as though Jacob’s even really stealing from Simon… just his boss and his brother-in-law. Simon didn’t buy that excuse either after he caught Jacob breaking into the company’s computer network.

 

That would have been that—one messy breakup, one ticket to Bali booked—but it turns out that the stolen information is worth more than Jacob thought. With his life—and his ribs—threatened, Jacob needs Simon to help him out. Or maybe he just needs Simon.

 

This is a great story that shows that even when you have made a big mistake love can overcome the challenge.  Jacob never planned to really get involved with Simon but he just couldn’t resist time and time again.  Simon will do anything to protect his family and feels completely betrayed by Jacob’s actions.

 

Even though Jacob kept their relationship separate from his job they are too connected to actually be kept apart in the end.  When Jacob runs after Simon finds him they keep looking but at the same time Simon is glad that he doesn’t have to confront Jacob.  When the tables are turned they find that they may have a common enemy in this and it may be closer than they think.

 

We get to see both of these character’s points of view, which helps to know what the characters are thinking.  Jacob closes himself off from the pain of not seeing the man he loves anymore when the job is done because that’s just what he has to do and as they begin to work together he finds that maybe Simon can give him an excuse to stay.  Simon feels like Jacob has stabbed him in the heart with his actions and though he never apologizes for the actual stealing Jacob helps to find the real culprit for why he was originally hired.  I loved how they couldn’t deny their feelings no matter what was going on around them and are both good guys down deep.

 

Cover art by Anne Cain is wonderful and gives great visuals of the characters for the story.

 

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 216 pages

Published: May 12, 2017 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 9781635335712

Edition Language: English

An Ali Review: Bones (Blue Boy #2) by Garrett Leigh

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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Cam is a veteran porn star at Blue Boy Studios. Known as Mr. Nice Guy, he’s the top every newbie bottom wants to be paired with.

But in recent months his beloved hardcore scenes have dried up. Instead, he finds himself stuck with a string of monotonous foreplay scenes. He takes his frustration to his boss, and warped kind of lover, Jon Kellar, but Jon won’t bend. Cam is a commodity and will do as he’s told…in every way.

Cam’s frustration builds, but a chance meeting with a hot BMXer distracts him. Sasha Tate is gorgeous, warm and wonderful; everything Cam has ever wanted. They bond over shared interests and a sizzling mutual attraction. Cam is exhilarated and thrilled, until his chosen profession gets in the way.

Sasha pulls back, and before Cam can fix it, life comes at him from all fronts. A crisis threatens much more than his relationship with Sasha, and as his world implodes he begins to realize that life will never be the same again.
 
This is the second book in the Blue Boys series.  This can be read as a standalone, but there is some follow up on the couple from book one’s relationship as I mention later in the review, so you may want to read book one first.  The majority of the book focuses on Cam who we meant in book one. Cam is a porn star and is in an unhealthy relationship with the studio’s owner Jon. Cam knows that he needs to get out of this relationship but is struggling with how to do it. He’s unhappy at work and he’s found himself increasingly isolated from his friends. A chance meeting at his second job leads him to meet Sasha, a really nice guy who has nothing to do with the porn business. The story then takes us through Cam’s attempts to break away from Jon, his struggle to have a sexual relationship outside of porn and another very serious issue.

I really enjoyed this book. This author makes you really like these characters without shying away from the seedier aspects of their lifestyles. Cam was a great character and he and Sasha were really good together. The style of the series is interesting and different from any other that I’ve read. Book one ended with a happily for now and those character’s story rolled in to this book. A good portion of the story was about Levi and Sonny and we saw them continue to work through their issues. By the end of this book it was apparent that their story is not even close to being done and will be seen more in book three. Cam and Sasha’s story ended on a happy note but they did not really get together till the end of this book so it looks like their story will also continue into the next one. It looks like the stories in this series will not wrap up in each book but will be on going through out the series. Kind of like a television drama or soap opera. I find that interesting and I’m eager to see what happens next for our guys as their stories unfold. 
Cover by Black Jazz Design:  This is a new cover for this book’s re-release and I like it a lot.  
Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book Details:
Published May 5th 2017 by Fox Love Press (first published May 5th 2014)
SeriesBlue Boy #2

Robert Winter on A Virtual Tour of Locations in ‘Every Breath You Take’, his latest novel (guest post and giveaway)

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Every Breath You Take by Robert Winter
Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press

Purchase

Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Release Date: May 5, 2017

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 221 pages
Genre: Romance, Thriller/Suspense

Add to Goodreads

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Robert Winter here today. Robert is going to give us a tour of the locations in his novel, Every Breath You Take.  Welcome, Robert!

✒︎

A Virtual Tour of Locations in Every Breath You Take by Robert Winter

Every Breath You Take is set in Washington, DC, where I have lived for more than 25 years (with a few breaks to live in New York). The city has grown and changed tremendously in that time. When I moved here in 1990, the population was on the decline as people fled to the suburbs in Virginia and Maryland. Most recently, census figures from 2016 show Washington’s population has reached a 40-year high.

That growth shows itself everywhere in new construction and in lots of traffic, but in some ways Washington retains its charm. There are lots of pretty bicycle trails, for example, such as this one that connects DC to Maryland.

There are also moments when you see a famous building, like the Capitol or the Washington Monument, and realize what a beautiful city DC really is.

In Every Breath You Take, Zachary Hall works for the Treasury Department. Although no scenes take place in his office, I’ve always thought Treasury has one of the more attractive buildings.

When Thomas Scarborough picks up Zachary at a bar, he brings him back to his condo. I let Thomas live in a swank development called CityCentreDC, which houses several high-end fashion stores, great restaurants, and condos with great views. Thomas lives on the top floor, of course.

On a memorable Sunday, Zachary visits the National Gallery of Art with Thomas and another character, Randy Vaughan.  Before he meets them inside, he sits for a while near a fountain. In the story, it had not yet been turned on, but I’m including a picture of the working fountain and its accompanying display of azaleas.

While he wanders on the Mall, Zachary also spots a building called the Newseum. Not only is this place a museum related to the freedom of the press and the other rights guaranteed by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, but it also houses some famous relics including a piece of the Berlin Wall and an antenna from the World Trade Center.

It develops in the story that Zachary begins dating a man named Sam who has an apartment in an attached building called the Newseum Residence (to the left in the picture above). Sam lives on the top floor. I’m not saying anything more, but after you read Every Breath You Take you might want to take another look at that top balcony!

The last stop on our virtual tour is one that I didn’t use in the book, but that any lover of mysteries and intrigue might particularly enjoy – the International Spy Museum. My favorite feature is a collection of tools of the spy trade, including a tube of lipstick that converts into a derringer. I’ll have to find a way to use something like that in a future story, maybe one about a drag queen spy…

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at the DC in which Zachary and Thomas find love and danger. If you know DC and I’ve missed one of your favorites, please tell us about it in the comments! You can find out more about my experiences in DC at my website.

Synopsis

When Zachary Hall leaves Utah for a job in Washington, it’s finally his chance to live as a gay man and maybe find someone special. In a bar he meets Thomas Scarborough, a man who seems perfect in and out of the bedroom. But Thomas never dates. He never even sleeps with the same man twice. Despite their instant connection, he can offer Zachary only his friendship, and Zachary is looking for more.

Thomas is tempted to break his own rules, but years before, he became the victim of a stalker who nearly destroyed his life. Even though his stalker died, Thomas obsessively keeps others at a distance. Despite his fascination with Zachary, he is unable to lower his barriers. Frustrated, Zachary accepts he will never have what he wants with Thomas and soon finds it with another man.

But young gay men in Washington, DC are being murdered, and the victims all have a connection to Thomas. Once again someone is watching Thomas’s every move. Can it be a coincidence? When the depraved killer turns his attention toward Zachary, Thomas must face the demons of his past—or lose his chance to open his heart to Zachary forever.

Excerpt

Across the street the man with the silver-framed glasses stood back in the shadows and stared at the front window of the garden apartment. He could see the back of his quarry’s head as he watched a small flat-screen TV.

Time passed.

Eventually the head nodded forward and then jerked up. When it happened a second time, the creature turned off the TV and then the lamp and headed to bed.

The man waited for another half hour with his back pressed against an alcove formed where two brownstones met. The street was quiet. Almost no one walked by, and the lone person who came down the street failed to notice him in the shadows.

The man felt his breath grow hoarse, and blood rushed in his ears as his heart began to pound. He cultivated that sensation as he reached into his coat pocket for the screwdriver that rested there and made himself imagine the creature’s hands touching the Beloved’s face. Stroking his body. He curled his fingers around the screwdriver and then clenched and unclenched rhythmically. Its thick handle felt rough against his palm because of the grooves and sharp edges he had chiseled into it. He had ideas for other implements that would serve his purpose, but for now, this would do just fine. This would make his point.

His throat was dry, and his eyes burned from focusing on the darkened window, but he felt invincible. The tension in his body climbed exquisitely, and when he could take no more, he slipped across the street and stepped down to the locked gate. It opened easily with his small set of picks. The gate made no noise when the creature went through it earlier, so he was confident and quick and didn’t bother to lock it behind him. Child’s play, he thought as he worked the lock on the apartment door.

The tumblers clicked into place.

He stored his lockpicks, slipped inside the darkened apartment, and then closed the door behind him as silently as he could. Streetlight came through the slatted blinds the boy had failed to close completely. He waited quietly until he heard a faint snore from the back and then removed his glasses and tucked them in an inside pocket of his jacket. The scarf his quarry had been wearing caught his eye, and the man bared his teeth as he lifted it off the coat tree and tugged it tightly between his hands. It was well made. It would hold. He smiled.

He slid through the gloom toward the room where the creature lay sleeping. He was hard, and the blood in his erection pulsed in time to the pounding of his heart. That boy had dared to touch his Beloved. He had probably even been fucked by him. But that wasn’t enough—oh no. He came back for more.

It had taken the man so long to find his Beloved and interpret his subtle clues. He finally understood what was required of him. The undeserving gnat must be chastised, and he would be the Beloved’s angel of retribution. He was conscious of the weight of the screwdriver in his pocket, the scratch of the wool scarf in his hands, and the power in his arms.

He reached for the boy on the bed.

Meet the Author

Robert Winter is a recovering lawyer who likes writing about hot men in love much more than drafting a legal brief. He left behind the (allegedly) glamorous world of an international law firm to sit in his home office and dream up ways to torment his characters until they realize they are perfect for each other. When he isn’t writing, Robert likes to cook Indian food and explore new restaurants.

Robert divides his time between Washington, DC, and Provincetown, MA. He splits his attention between Andy, his partner of sixteen years, and Ling the Adventure Cat, who likes to fly in airplanes and explore the backyard jungle as long as the temperature and humidity are just right.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | 
Goodreads
 | eMail

Blog Tour Schedule

May 8 – Stories That Make You Smile | Books, Dreams, Life
May 9 – two chicks obsessed Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews
May 10 – Oh My Shelves | Butterfly-o-Meter Books
May 11 – Bayou Book Junkie | Boy Meets Boy Reviews
May 12 – Urban Smoothie Read | Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Giveaway

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C. J. Anthony on Roller Coasters, Road Trips and her latest novel ‘Runaway Rock Star’ (guest post)

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Runaway Rock Star (States of Love) by C.J. Anthony
D
reamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anna Sikorska

Available for Purchase at

Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host C.J. Anthony today on her Runaway Road Trip Blog Tour! Welcome, C.J.!

 

Thank you Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for having me on the blog today! Today is my fifth stop on my Runaway Rock Star Road Blog Tour! Join me as I hit the road—I’m going to be visiting some great blogs, sharing background about the book, about Ohio, and there may also be a fun interview with Lucas and Brandon along the way. The stops are listed below and any posts you comment on during the tour will enter you for a fun prize pack at the end that includes a $20 GC to the eBook retailer of your choice.

Runaway Rock Star is a part of the States of Love series from Dreamspinner Press. A little background on the series for those who may not know what it is, the States of Love series is a series with one book about each state in the United States, all written by different authors.

~ ~ ~ ~

So in Runaway Rock Star, the first stop on Lucas and Brandon’s road trip (after they leave Cleveland) is Cedar Point. If you live in Ohio or even in a surrounding state—or if you’re a roller coaster fan—you probably know what Cedar Point is. But for those of you who have never heard of it, Cedar Point is an amusement park. They make the claim to be the “Roller Coaster Capital of the World, “ and that just might be true.

Cedar Point is located on a peninsula off of Lake Erie on the northern border of Ohio. According to ohiohistorycentral.org, the park officially began in 1870 when bath houses and other attractions were built to draw tourists. The first coaster was built in 1892 and the rest is history!

Today there are miles and miles of roller coasters, tons of places to eat, fun musical shows and entertainment and even a water park too.

I have to say, I have only been to Cedar Point once, many, many years ago, because I’m not a roller coaster fan. When I went, I made myself ride several coasters, and I survived in one piece, LOL. But that was enough for me.  Cedar Point, though, is a popular place for Ohio families to visit and tourists come from all over for the roller coasters.

In the book,  Lucas begins navigating and directs Brandon on the highway toward Cedar Point, already having made hotel reservations and plan without him knowing it. Here’s an excerpt of the beginning of their day at the park:

By the time Brandon caught up with him, Lucas was rubbing his hands together in delight. “All right, Harris. It’s on! What should we ride first?”

“What kind of thrill do you like? Riding upside down? Death drops? Wooden coasters? Or speed?”

“Well, considering I’ve never ridden any roller coaster before, I would say… all of them!”

Brandon stopped walking. “Wait a minute, you’ve never…? How…?” After what Lucas had told him so far of his life, he guessed it shouldn’t be a surprise that Lucas had never ridden a roller coaster. And he didn’t want to make the guy feel bad about it. But it did give him an idea.

“Okay,” Brandon said, striding ahead of Lucas. “I know exactly where to start.”

A few minutes later they arrived at their destination, Brandon smiling broadly.

Lucas glared at him. “The Woodstock Express? Are you fucking kidding me?”

A mother with two children in tow gave Lucas a dirty look as she tried to cover her little girl’s ears. Too late for the little boy though. “Mommy, he just said fuck-king!”

Brandon leaned over to Lucas. “Watch your language… there are little children present!”

“Of course there are, because you brought me to a kiddie ride!”

Brandon held up his hands. “Now, now… adults are allowed to ride too.” He smirked. “As your copilot on this roller-coaster adventure, I need to make sure you’re going to be able to handle the big-league coasters. After all you did say you were a roller-coaster virgin.”

Lucas scowled. “You are a devious arsehole, Harris. I am shocked!” Defiantly he stalked over to the line, towering a good two to three feet over his fellow riders.

Brandon laughed out loud. He stood on the sidelines and took pictures and video of Lucas riding on the train ride, like a proud parent. He also watched as Lucas’s car-mate, a little dark-haired boy, conversed with Lucas and pulled him out of his indignant mood. Lucas was chatting and laughing with a look of pure joy on his face.

When the ride was over, Lucas brought the little boy over to Brandon. “This is my new best bud, Martin.” Looking down at Martin, he motioned toward Brandon. “Marty, go ahead.”

Martin looked up at Brandon with a seriously bored expression on his face. “Dude, he rocked the ride, didn’t scream or puke once. He’s good to go.”

Martin and Lucas did some kind of hand-slap fist-bump, and then Martin ran off to find his family. Lucas looked smugly at Brandon.

“See, I was just coaster-approved. Now, can we please ride a big-boy ride? Please, Daddy?”

Brandon just rolled his eyes. “Okay, fine.”

Lucas threw his fist in the air.

~ ~ ~ ~

If you enjoyed the excerpt, pick up the book, there are more shenanigans to be had. And the itinerary for my blog trip is listed below; I hope you’ll visit each blog along with me! Don’t forget to leave comments to be entered for the prize giveaway. Also be sure to check out the blurb and info about the book.

May 3  MM Good Book Reviews

May 10  My Fiction Nook

May 11  Love Bytes Reviews

May 12  Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

May 15  Open Skye Book Reviews

May 17  The Novel Approach

May 18  Boy Meets Boy Reviews

Blurb:

Just hours before Brandon Harris is supposed to head home to Cincinnati for a Labor Day family picnic, his boss at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame forces him into giving a private tour to bratty British pop rock star Lucas Black. Before he knows it, he finds himself swept up in a whirlwind road trip through Ohio with Lucas riding shotgun. 

Lucas grabs hold of this wild opportunity to run away—even for a few precious days—from the gilded cage that is his carefully managed life. He’s just looking for a little fun and freedom as a normal person. From  roller coasters to a college football game, Brandon begins to see the real Lucas Black buried under the famous persona. But by the time he and Lucas discover their mutual attraction, they only have one night left before both of them have to go back to their real lives. The fun is over…unless Lucas can run away for real this time and keep their adventure going.

About the Author

C. J. Anthony grew up watching soap operas and reading piles of books. She attributes her love of reading and romance to her mother, who not only taught her to read but also made countless trips to the library lugging piles of books home for her. It wasn’t a far jump to start writing her own stories, early childhood tales about flower families and traveling to the moon with her best friend.

C. J.’s favorite stories to read and write include “opposites attract” pairings—couples who appear to be an odd couple to the rest of the world, but fit together perfectly, finding their own happily-ever-after with a little hard work and a whole lot of love.

Not surprisingly, C. J. is a big lover of rom coms—she’ll gladly take Julia Roberts standing in front of Hugh Grant asking him to love her over car crashes and shoot-em-up movies any day. She also watches way too much TV and every singing reality show there is. She loves music of all genres and attending live concerts.

She spends most of her time juggling a day job and a commute and freelance and falling asleep on her couch, dreaming of a day when she can write all day in her pajamas while living in a house by the beach.

E-mail: cjanthony70@gmail.com

Blog: https://cjanthony.wordpress.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cjanthony.writer

Twitter: @C_J_Anthony

Lucie Archer on Writing, Characters and her latest story ‘Past the Breakers’ (guest blog and interview)

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Past the Breakers by Lucie Archer
D
reamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht

Buy Links:

      

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Lucie Archer here today on her Past the Breakers book tour.  Welcome, Lucie! 

✒︎

~Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Lucie Archer~

  • How much of yourself goes into a character?

I don’t put that much of myself into my characters, at least not consciously. They usually end up growing and developing their own personalities as I write them, which is part of the fun for me as a writer, bringing to life characters that have never existed before.

However, I sometimes give them little pieces of me. For example, Myles’s favorite food is chicken parmesan, which is mine as well. Casey suffers from anxiety attacks, and while I didn’t write that into the book as a reflection of myself, my own experience is something I drew from when I wrote him.

  • Does research play a role in choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

I absolutely love research! It’s one of my favorite parts of being a writer to the point I sometimes get lost in it and forget to write. Oops. I’m very much a realist, so fantasy is something I kind of struggle with in terms of the media I consume, and in my own writing. Contemporary is more my wheelhouse, but I would like to try my hand at a few historical pieces… just for the excuse to research.

  • Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it? 

I joke that I’m a method writer, but it’s really the only way I can describe how I write. I very much get into my characters’ heads, and I have had to step away from a story before to regroup after an emotionally taxing scene. I also sometimes cry when I write particularly intense scenes, which may be lame to admit, but I really hope the emotion I put into my stories comes out for the readers.

  • Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

I am all about the HEA’s. I’m not sure I could write a story that’s just HFN. I need that closure, and I need to know these characters I’ve invested in get the happiness they deserve, whether I wrote them or someone else did. It has to be an exceptional story before I’m satisfied with something other than HEA. Maybe that’s boring, but there’s enough sadness in the world that I don’t like to see it in the things I use to escape it.

  • How do you choose your covers?

I’ve gotten really lucky with the amazing designers at DSP. I don’t usually have a clear picture of what I want for my covers, so it’s hard to articulate what I’d like, but I haven’t had any problems choosing from the wonderful mock ups they’ve made for me. Usually one will jump out at me immediately, then it’s just a matter of tweaking it to perfection.

  • What’s next for you as an author?

Hopefully more books! I have several WIPs I’m trying to juggle right now, including one I hope to have out this summer set in an aquarium that I’m having an absolute blast with. But I assure you have I have more ideas than I know what to do with. It’s just a matter of making time to get them all out of my head.

Blurb

Casey North lost everything when his restaurant burned to the ground: his hopes, his dreams, his reason for living. With nothing tying him to LA, he packs up and moves back to his hometown of Land’s End. He takes up residence in a beach house and attempts to shake the depression he’s fallen into after his life collapsed. There’s just one tiny problem: the ghost haunting his kitchen.

Myles Taylor wasn’t always trapped in the Between. One minute, he was about to propose to his boyfriend of five years as they sat out on their surfboards, and the next, he woke up on the beach to find his long-dead uncle walking toward him. After his shock fades, he must learn to navigate his new reality as he searches for a way to move into the Great Beyond. But first he must deal with the man who’s invaded his territory.

With Myles tied to the beach house and Casey unwilling to leave it, the two must learn to cohabitate as the lines separating them begin to blur. They grow closer than either expected, but what will become of them once Myles finally escapes the Between?

Meet Lucie

Lucie Archer is a student of the universe who is obsessed with the stars, in love with beaches, and crazy about dudes falling in love. She tells stories of romance, love, and life, with a little bit of passion thrown in for good measure. Because what’s life without a little pop and sizzle?

When she’s not writing, she can be found tending to her garden, playing with her four-legged children, or procrastinating. Although, she spends a lot of time fending off random plot bunnies that threaten to derail her WIP’s.

Website & blog: www.luciearcher.com

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/writerluciearcher

Twitter: www.twitter.com/Lucie_Archer

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