A MelanieM Review: The Bones Of Our Fathers by Elin Gregory

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Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5

Malcolm Bright, brand new museum curator in a small Welsh Border town, is a little lonely until – acting as emergency archaeological consultant on a new housing development – he crosses the path of Rob Escley, aka Dirty Rob, who makes Mal’s earth move in more ways than one.

Then Rob discovers something wonderful, and together they must combat greedy developers and a treasure hunter determined to get his hands on the find. Are desperate measures justified to save the bones of our fathers? Will Dirty Rob live up to his reputation? Do museum curators really do it meticulously?

Answers must be found for the sake of Mal’s future, his happiness and his heart.

The Bones Of Our Fathers by Elin Gregory is the type of book I sigh and cuddle up with.  From the moment I settle into the quaint Welsh village of Pemberland and its surrounding towns of Escley, Brynglas and King’s Norton, I know I’m in for a treat.  I love Elin Gregory and having a main character who’s a museum curator is a subject she’s uniquely qualified to write about (read her author’s bio).   The descriptions of the Pemberland Centre for Heritage and Culture, formerly the Town Museum and its staff are vivid, sometimes hilarious,and feel created with an eye of someone familiar with similar settings and associates, albeit with fondness and sometimes exasperation.  The last with the ladies of the Library with whom Mal and his staff now have to share a building.  The bickering, the relationship dynamics that unfold between the town’s inhabitants and Mal, someone newly arrived in Pemberland and new to small village society maneuverings is both charming, believable, and cosy reading.

Its Rob Escley and their mutual attraction that helps to launch Mal further into becoming part of his newly adopted town and further his passion for his new little museum. Rob makes a remarkable discovery upon land that’s being prepared for development and that find propels Mal and Rob to new togetherness and a fight to save it for the village and prosperity.

However, nothing is ever simple.  This is a terrific story where trust is a big issue for Mal, misunderstandings and miscommunication loom large, mostly because Mal just doesn’t understand what it means to live and be part of village life as he’s been so solitary for most of his.  To switch from one mental and emotional state to one of almost constant connectedness is a transition we watch Mal make throughout the story.  Sometimes funny, sometimes it filled with mistakes and angst (a rainy bike race through town is one of my favorite scenes here), Mal has to choose which life he’s going to live in the end.  That choice will include Rob.

Ah Rob Escley.  A bundle of vulnerability, sex appeal and smarts.  Plus loyalty of course.  He was so easy to fall for.  But then this entire story from Betty , Zoe, Harvey, the regulars at the tavern called the Friday Nighters, even Morris,  a certain gigantic dog, The Bones of Our Fathers overflows with characters to love.  I mean I swear I’m going to hound this author until we get a story for a certain PC Brian Ferriner. I need to know his back history and want him to find a love too.  How I really hated for this story to end and for me to have to leave this town and people behind.

I highly recommend The Bones of Our Fathers by Elin Gregory.  The romance is gentle, believable and happy.  This village and townspeople have a staying power and an ability to creep into your heart as a place you’ll want to return to.  I hope the author decides this is a universe she will visit often in future stories as well.

Cover art by Michelle Peart is wonderful with a mug that shows up in the storyline.

Buy Links: Manifold Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book Details:

ebook, 231 pages
Published August 1st 2017 by Manifold Press
ISBN139781908312549
Edition LanguageEnglish
URLhttp://manifoldpress.co.uk

A Lila Audiobook Review: Just Add Argyle (Fabric Hearts 3) by KC Burn and David Ross (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Tate Buchanan is a troublemaker who can’t keep a job, no matter how many times his lucky argyle sweater gets him hired. Add to that a learning disability and an impetuous nature that sends him into altercations to protect the defenseless, and he hardly manages to make friends, let alone find a man who’s interested in him for more than one night.

Most people think EMT Jaime Escobar is a player, but the truth is he wants a serious partner—he just can’t justify wasting time on guys he knows aren’t a match. But when he treats a gorgeous redhead after a fight, he finds the spark he’s spent so many years looking for.

Jaime wants to take the next step with Tate, but it’s clear Tate’s not going to curb his impulsive behavior—his next fight sends him to the hospital. Jaime’s relationship with a near criminal isn’t something his family is ready to accept, not any more than Tate is willing to be kept a secret. Jaime will need a lot of understanding—and some luck of his own—to keep them both. But this is one fight he’s going to see through to the end.

Just Add Argyle is the best one in the series so far. Most likely because we have known Jaime since book one and we have witnessed his longing for love and his support for his friends–plus the love for his family. We are all cheering for his happily ever after and he finally gets it.

Tate is perfect for Jaime. With all his troubles and childhood issues, he still a good man with a penchant for children and the needy. I love the way he always tried to help others even when he gets in trouble for it. He’s more about taking action than looking into consequences.

Putting Jaime and Tate together we get to see what a loving relationship is all about. We see them taking care of each other and trying to help the other to achieve their potential. Also, their relationships with others are relevant to their love story; giving us updates from the previous couples.

Overall, this is a quick read with a mismatched pair that fit together. Their lives aren’t easy but they work together to move forward and nurture their love and future.

David Ross once again did an excellent job voicing not only the main characters but those we have met in the previous books in the series. It’s nice to connect the voices with their previous actions.

On the cover by L.C. Chase, we get to see Tate wearing one of this lucky argyle vests. It goes with the other covers and the adaptation of the e-book cover.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: David Ross
Length: 7 hours and 32 minutes

Published: July 21, 2017 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B0742K3BGH
Edition Language: English

 

Series:  Fabric Hearts
Book #1: Tartan Candy
Book #2: Plaid Versus Parsley
Book #3: Just Add Argyle

A Free Dreamer Release Day Review: The Tiger’s Watch (Ashes of Gold #1) by Julia Ember

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Sixteen-year-old Tashi has spent their life training as a inhabitor, a soldier who spies and kills using a bonded animal. When the capital falls after a brutal siege, Tashi flees to a remote monastery to hide. But the invading army turns the monastery into a hospital, and Tashi catches the eye of Xian, the regiment’s fearless young commander.

Tashi spies on Xian’s every move. In front of his men, Xian seems dangerous, even sadistic, but Tashi discovers a more vulnerable side of the enemy commander—a side that draws them to Xian.

When their spying unveils that everything they’ve been taught is a lie, Tashi faces an impossible choice: save their country or the boy they’re growing to love. Though Tashi grapples with their decision, their volatile bonded tiger doesn’t question her allegiances. Katala slaughters Xian’s soldiers, leading the enemy to hunt her. But an inhabitor’s bond to their animal is for life—if Katala dies, so will Tashi.

It’s no secret that I love unusual fantasy stories. And “The Tiger’s Watch” is definitely unusual. We have Tashi, our genderfluid protagonist, who’s magically bonded to a tiger.

Tashi is a very sweet person. The story is told in first person POV and that worked really well here. I liked Tashi, though they did cry a bit much. Almost a little whiney, but still mostly alright.

Then there’s Xian. He’s the cruel enemy commander who Tashi needs to spy on. He was actually a really interesting person. At first I hated him, because he’s the enemy and he killed Tashi’s friends. But then we see another side of him and I slowly started to like and maybe even understand him. Only for him to once again remind me that he’s a cruel military commander. I was really conflicted about what to think about him.

The gender-fluidity was mostly implied. Tashi is in hiding, so they need to lay low and not draw attention. It’s mostly just them on insisting to be adressed as “they” and not “he”. And sometimes they wish they could wear a dress. It’s sort of implied that they faced some difficult times when they were younger, but now everybody is really very accepting.

The world was really interesting. Some chosen humans magically bond with animals. But the animals choose them, not the other way round. The catch: The humans die when their bonded animal dies. Since most animals have relatively short lifespans, their bonded humans tend to die young too.

The world building was sadly a little lacking. There’s a war between Tashi’s people and Xian’s people that’s been going for a long time apparently. But we never learn why these two peoples actually fight each other. The whole bonding process seemed a little odd too. Why would anybody actually choose to lower their life expectation so drastically?

There wasn’t all that much of a romance plot here. Tashi is very attracted to Xian, but love somebody else. I didn’t quite understand Tashi’s attraction, tbh. I mean, the man killed one of Tashi’s best friends in front of his eyes and he’s responsible for the deaths of many other people. It would have made more sense for Tashi to hate him. And I’m not too fond of love triangles on principle.

Overall, the story felt as if it was just getting started when it ended. The world and the plot are so complex, 180 pages just weren’t anywhere near enough to follow up on all those promising ideas. Which is a real shame, because the author seemed to have so many great ideas.

This is the first part in a new series and I definitely want to read the next instalment. I really hope some of the unanswered questions will be covered in the next part.

The cover by Meghan Moss is absolutely gorgeous. I absolutely love it!

Sales Links:  Harmony Ink Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 180 pages
Expected publication: August 22nd 2017 by Harmony Ink Press
ISBN139781635334869
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesAshes of Gold #1

Alex Standish on Writing, Research and her release ‘Changing Tides’ (guest blog and excerpt)

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Changing Tides by Alex Standish
Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Anna Sikorska

Buy link: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

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Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Alex Standish today on her Changing Tides tour. Welcome, Alex!

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Hey, guys!

Thank you so much to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting me today, I appreciate it. Great name for a blog, by the way. 

One of my favorite things about writing is doing research. For Changing Tides, I spent hours looking through books, watching TV shows and movies, and browsing through the internet. I love researching because I always learn something new, and obviously, it makes the story better, more real, if you will.

With Changing Tides, I learned a lot about the Caribbean Sea and islands, about pirate garb and weaponry, and especially about ships. The naval battles were particularly challenging, but I had a blast writing them, and I’ve got to say I’m quite pleased with the end result. It was difficult to let go when it was done and I’m going to miss my pirates very much.

Blurb 

While most pirates sail in search of riches, Captain Devon Hall, the infamous Phantom of the Caribbean, is driven by vengeance. Devon has sworn to put an end to the corrupt governor of Jamaica and break the ruthless man’s stranglehold in the Caribbean.

When Devon is wounded and stranded on land, an unlikely rescuer comes to his aid. Brett Campbell is nothing like his uncle, the governor, and his goals are not so different from Devon’s. Brett longs for freedom, but his obligations to protect those under his uncle’s control keep him from fleeing. Throwing in with Devon might increase both their chances of success—and survival.

When the governor’s attempts to destroy Devon escalate and place Brett in danger and in the hands of the ruthless and depraved pirate Captain Blackburn, Devon must risk everything to save the man he loves and repay his enemies.

All Devon’s ever wanted is his ship, his freedom, friends who stand by his side through thick and thin, and someone to love. But facing dangers at sea and on land, Devon wonders if they will live to enjoy it all.

Excerpt

On their fourth day at sea, a day after releasing the cruiser’s crew as promised, they spotted the Skull.

Devon coldly studied their formidable adversary. With its fifteen hundred tons of impressive bulk and its numerous artilleries, he knew they were in for a fight. The British cruiser was a good ship, fast, but would not be able to withstand much punishment.

Devon took a deep breath, trying to control his heartbeat. He wanted nothing more than to open fire on the other ship. But as desperate as he was to catch Blackburn, Devon couldn’t risk Brett getting hurt in the resulting melee.

“What are you planning?” Cody asked, a slight quiver in his voice betraying his anxiety.

As fierce and determined as Cody was, sometimes it was easy for Devon to forget just how new to this whole life he was.

“They have got more firepower than we do. And I don’t want to jeopardize Brett’s life, or ours, for that matter.”

“We could keep following them, wait until dark, and then use the cutters to overtake their ship,” Cody said. “Maybe they won’t spot us until it’s too late.”

Devon grinned at him. “We will make a pirate out of you yet.”

Suddenly, there was a flash of light from Blackburn’s ship, and seconds later a large cannonball whistled through the cruiser’s masts.

“They have seen us, Captain,” John shouted.

Devon closed his eyes for a moment, sending a silent apology to Brett. Knowing they had to return fire or be destroyed, he turned to his men.

“Battle stations.” Devon watched the men rush below deck to take their positions while the artillerymen aimed the cannons and firelocks. “Fire,” he ordered.

About the Author

Alex Standish lives in Lisbon, Portugal, a beautiful and sunny country in Europe. She loves to read, travel, listen to good music, rock the vacuum cleaner like Freddie Mercury, and hang out with her friends. When she’s not at her day job or trying to win the lottery, she’s typing away at her laptop, Probie, writing homoerotic romance. She’s a multigenre author, striving to create engaging plotlines and characters that could stand on their own and hopefully tug at one’s heartstrings. In the last eight years, Alex has written one short story and three novels.

Social media info: http://www.facebook.com/xanderstandish

Blog Tour Schedule

August 9 – MM Good Book Reviews https://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com/

August 14 – My Fiction Nook http://myfictionnook.com/

August 15 – Alpha Book Reviews https://alphabookclub.org/

August 16 – Happily Ever Chapter https://www.facebook.com/happilyeverchapter

August 17 – Love Bytes http://www.lovebytesreviews.com/

August 18 – The Novel Approach http://thenovelapproachreviews.com/

August 21 – Open Skye Book Reviews http://openskyebookreviews.com/

August 22 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words  https://scatteredthoughtsandroguewords.com/

August 23 – Dreamspinner Press Blog http://blog.dreamspinnerpress.com/

In the Spotlight: Suspicious Behavior (Bad Behavior #2) by LA Witt and Cari Z (Riptide Publishing Tour and Giveaway)

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Suspicious Behavior (Bad Behavior #2) by L.A. Witt and Cari Z.
Riptide Publishing
Cover by: G.D. Leigh

Read an Excerpt/Buy It Here at Riptide Publishing

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host L.A.Witt and Cari Z. on their Suspicious Behavior (Bad Behavior #2) Tour.  After checking out the story, be sure to enter the giveaway below.

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About Suspicious Behavior

 

Detective Darren Corliss is hanging by a thread. In between recovering from a near-fatal wound and returning to work at a hostile precinct, he’s struggling to help care for his ailing brother. His partner and boyfriend, Detective Andreas Ruffner, wants to help, but doesn’t know how. And with his own family crises brewing, Andreas is spread almost as thin as Darren.

 

For cops, though, life takes a backseat to the job. When a stack of unsolved homicides drops into their laps, Andreas and Darren think they’re unrelated cold cases. But when a connection surfaces, they find themselves on the tail of a prolific serial killer who’s about to strike again.

 

Except they’ve got nothing. No leads. No suspects. Just a pile of circumstantial evidence and a whole lot of hunches. Time is running out to stop the next murder—and to pull themselves back from their breaking points.

 

Available now from Riptide Publishing. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/suspicious-behavior

About the Bad Behavior Series

 

It’s “hell no” at first sight for newly partnered detectives Andreas Ruffner and Darren Corliss. Darren is too chipper, Andreas is too gruff, and that whole “IA wants me to prove you’re a dirty cop” thing really doesn’t get them off on the right foot.

 

It doesn’t matter if they like each other. They’re partners and that’s final. Though Andreas is easy on the eyes. And Darren is kind of cute. And . . . okay, maybe they can make this work.

 

They’d better, because as their cases get more horrifying—and more personal—they’ll have to trust each other with their lives, and with their hearts.

 

Check out Bad Behavior! http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/series/bad-behavior

 

About Cari Z.

 

Cari Z was a bookworm as a child and remains one to this day. In an effort to combat her antisocial reading behavior, she did all sorts of crazy things, from competitive gymnastics to alligator wresting (who even knew that was legal!) to finally joining the Peace Corps, which promptly sent her and her husband to the wilds of West Africa, stuck them in a hut, and said, “See ya!” She also started writing, because some things she just thought she could do better. She’s still climbing that ladder, but can’t stop herself from writing, or from sharing what she creates.

 

Cari enjoys a wide range of literary genres, from the classics (get ‘im, Ahab) to science fiction and fantasy of all types, to historical fiction and reference materials (no, seriously, there are so many great encyclopedias out there). She writes in a wide range of genres as well, but somehow 90% of what she produces ends up falling into the broad and exciting category of m/m erotica. There’s a sprinkling of f/m and f/f and even m/f/m in her repertoire, but her true love is man love. And there’s a lot of love to go around.

 

Cari has published short stories, novellas, and novels with numerous print and e-presses, and she also offers up a tremendous amount of free content on Literotica.com, under the name Carizabeth.

 

Connect with Cari at http://cari-z.net/  or via her blog, http://carizerotica.blogspot.com/

 

About L.A. Witt

 

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut . . .

  1. A.’s backlist is available on her website, and updates (as well as random thoughts and the odd snarky comment) can be found on her blog or on Twitter (@GallagherWitt).

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Suspicious Behavior, one lucky winner will receive a $10 Riptide credit and their choice in an ebook from each of Cari and L.A.’s backlist! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on August 26, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Review Tour – Elin Gregory’s The Bones Of Our Fathers

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Length: 80,000 words approx
 
Publisher: Manifold Press
 
Cover Design: Michelle Peart
 
Blurb
 

Malcolm Bright, brand new museum curator in a small Welsh Border town, is a little lonely until – acting as emergency archaeological consultant on a new housing development – he crosses the path of Rob Escley, aka Dirty Rob, who makes Mal’s earth move in more ways than one.


Then Rob discovers something wonderful, and together they must combat greedy developers and a treasure hunter determined to get his hands on the find. Are desperate measures justified to save the bones of our fathers? Will Dirty Rob live up to his reputation? Do museum curators really do it meticulously?


Answers must be found for the sake of Mal’s future, his happiness and his heart.



 

Author Bio

Elin Gregory lives in South Wales and works in a museum in a castle built on the edge of a Roman Fort! She reckons that’s a pretty cool job.


Elin usually writes on historical subjects, and enjoys weaving the weird and wonderful facts she comes across in her research into her plots. She likes her heroes hard as nails but capable of tenderness when circumstances allow. Often they are in danger, frequently they have to make hard choices, but happy endings are always assured.


Current works in progress include one set during the Great War, another in WW2, one set in the Dark Ages and a series of contemporary romances set in a small town on the Welsh border.



www.elingregory.com
www.facebook.com/elin.gregory
@ElinGregory
www.elingregory.wordpress.com

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