International Literacy Day and This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

International Literacy Day

International Literacy Day in on Friday, September 8th.  What is International Literacy Day you might ask?  Consider these quotes:

Books were my pass to personal freedom. – Oprah Winfrey

A book is the only place in which you can examine a fragile thought without breaking it, or explore an explosive idea without fear it will go off in your face. – Edward P. Morgan

A book is a dream that you hold in your hand. – Neil Gaiman

A book is a device to ignite the imagination. – Alan Bennett

No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance. – Confucius

Reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body. – Joseph Addison

Reading takes us away from home, but more important, it finds homes for us everywhere. – Hazel Rochman

For each of those and for us, books unite us, make us bigger, pull us forward, out of ourselves and into something larger.  Maybe into something we can’t even define for ourselves yet. And now we are doing so in multiple ways on various devices.

But first we must learn to read.

That’s where the International Literacy Day comes in.

From the International Literacy Day Website:

International Literacy Day History

International Literacy Day serves to recognize the importance of literacy and acknowledge the need to create a globally literate community. Literacy refers to a person’s ability to read or write, an ability that connects and empowers people, allowing them to communicate and interact with the world, and one that the United Nations considers to be a basic human right. Today, approximately 16% of the world’s population, two-thirds of which is female, is unable to read or write at a basic level in their native languages. Illiteracy in nearly all parts of the world has been linked to socio-economic issues like poverty and demographic factors such as gender.

In an effort to combat illiteracy, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) created International Literacy Day in 2000.  During the 2015 campaign, themed Literacy and Sustainable Societies, UNESCO stressed the importance of literacy as the most powerful accelerator of sustainable development and pledged that by 2030, the organization will ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy. This international holiday is observed annually on September 8th.

This year the theme is Literacy in a Digital World exploring what skills people need to live in an increasingly digital oriented world.  Here at STRW we have talked about the increase in eBooks.  That’s also true at the educational level where computers and computer programs are rapidly replacing traditional methods normally associated with schooling, right down to eTextbooks.

Here is another paragraph that struck me from the International Literacy Day website:

Just as knowledge, skills and competencies evolve in the digital world, so does what it means to be literate. In order to close the literacy skills gap and reduce inequalities, this year’s International Literacy Day will highlight the challenges and opportunities in promoting literacy in the digital world, a world where, despite progress, at least 750 million adults and 264 million out-of-school children still lack basic literacy skills.

The more that you read, the more things that you will know, the more that you learn, the more places that you’ll go – Dr. Seuss

International Literacy Day – References and Related Sites

So what can we do to help?  There are many shelters, especially LGBTQIA Youth shelters, that maybe in need of books, even Kindles with suitable YA stories already loaded into them, that you can donate.  Donate books to local shelters for domestic violence.  They often take in families with younger children that might need books to read.  Check first with the shelters before donating.  Need addresses of LGBTQ Shelters to contact?

Start with

Ali Forney Center – NYC NY

Lost-n-Found Youth: Home  (Atlanta GA USA)

LostnFound Youth is an Atlanta-based nonprofit organization whose … More than 40% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQ and this disparity in the homeless youth population continues to grow. …. 2585 Chantilly Drive, AtlantaGA 30324

Note:  They have a Wish List which includes underwear, food, bedding.  Contact them first before donating other than these staples.

Albert Kennedy Trust – Helping young LGBT people – Manchester UK

The Albert Kennedy Trust support lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans homeless young people in crisis. Every day … We have offices in both London and Manchester.

What else?  Check with your local libraries.  Volunteer with people who need assistance learning to read.  Send us suggestions on things we haven’t come up with.  What should we be doing for International Literacy Day?  It’s actually being celebrated on the 7th and 8th.  All comments and suggestions are welcome!  The more the merrier!  Our reviewers stretch around the globe, so do our authors and readers.  Let’s make this a global effort too.

International Literacy Day Giveaway

How do you think we can make a difference these days in promoting literacy?  Here  at home and abroad?  Also, tell us what how reading and books has changed your life? What does it mean to you that you can pick up a book, sink down into other lives and worlds? Two winners will win a $10 gift card.  Leave your comment along with your email address.  Contest ends on Sunday, September 9th.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words




Sunday, September 3:

  • An Alisa Series Review: Only You Series by JS Finley
  • International Literacy Day
  • This Week At Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, September 4:

  • BLITZ A Matter of Courage by J.C. Long
  • Review Tour – Ann Gallagher’s Having Her Back
  • RIPTIDE TOUR Foxglove Copse (Porthkennack #5) by Alex Beecroft
  • A MelanieM Review: Foxglove Copse (Porthkennack #5) by Alex Beecroft
  • A Stella Release Day Review: The Hike by John Inman
  • An Alisa Review: Eye Candy (Candy Men #2) by Amanda Young
  • A Stella Review : Having Her Back by Ann Gallagher

Tuesday, September 5:

  • Dreamspinner Promo j. leigh bailey on Stalking Buffalo Bill + Giveaway
  • RELEASE BLITZ Leaning Into Always by Lane Hayes
  • Review Tour – Hard Time (Responsible Adult #2) by C.F. White
  • A Kai Review: Hard Time (Responsible Adult #2) by C.F. White
  • A VVivacious Review:  The Highlander (Order Series #2) by Kasia Bacon
  • An Ali Review: A Matter of Courage by JC Long
  • An Alisa Review: Talk Bunny To Me (Hoppity Shifter #2) by A.R. Barley

Wednesday, September 6:

  • 3 day release Blitz for  Sunder by Lexi Ander
  • Blog Tour For Elin Gregory’s  The Bones of Our Fathers
  • A Melanie Release Day Review: Earning His Trust by Alicia Nordwell
  • A Lila Review: The Curse (Witches of Salem #1) by T.S. McKinney
  • An Alisa Review: Broken Pieces by Ruby MacIntyre

Thursday, September 7:

  • Release Blitz & Review Tour for Garrett Leigh’s Circle (Roads #3)
  • Release Blitz: Hard Time by CF White
  • Victoria Sue on her new release The Alpha Heir + Giveaway
  • A Kai Review: Facing West (Forever Wilde #1) by Lucy Lennox
  • An Ali Review: Making It (Ringside Romance #3) by Christine d’Abo
  • A Lila Audiobook Review: Tart and Sweet (Candy Man #4) by Amy Lane and Narrator: Philip Alces
  • An Ali Review:  Circle (Roads #3) by Garrett Leigh

Friday, September 8 (International Literacy Day):

  • TOUR The Dragon’s Devotion by Antonia Aquilante
  • Release Blitz : Con Riley’s Be My Best Man
  • RIPTIDE TOUR & Giveaway: Her Hometown Girl by Lorelie Brown
  • The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic by F.T. Lukens YA Tour
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review:  Friendly Fire by Cari Z and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)
  • A Lila Review: The Dragon’s Devotion (Chronicles of Tournai Book 5) by Antonia Aquilante
  • A MelanieM Review: Broken Records (Spotlight #1) by Lilah Suzanne

Saturday, September 9:

  • Living Out Loud by Nyrae Dawn & Christina Lee Release Day Blitz and Review
  • Cover reveal *September 8th* His Dark Reflection by Heloise West
  • A MelanieM Review: Sūnder (Darksoul #1) by Lexi Ander





An Alisa Series Review: Only You Series (3 books) by JS Finley

Straight Up (#1) – 4 out of 5 stars


Sometimes you need the truth Straight Up



Brent is HOT but hot doesn’t matter when you can’t have what you want.


After the Marines, they went their separate ways, but he can’t forget…never forget and never leave a man behind, but that’s what he did when he ran from Brent.


Maybe it wasn’t the best reaction, but he couldn’t face the truth. Now he has a second chance and he doesn’t want to blow it, instead, he wants to blow Brent.



Maybe there’s something between he and Jake, but Brent can’t ask, and Jake won’t tell because in the Marines being gay is bad for business.


Time heals all wounds, and that’s what Brent is gambling on when they meet in the hills of Tennessee. Brent is hoping for friendship…but if there is more, he’ll take it.


When Brent meets his straight friend again in Tennessee will they remain friends or will they become more?


This was a nice story and I really enjoyed it.  Jake pushed Brent away just before they both got out of the marines because he was scared of his feelings and still doesn’t know how to voice what he wants.  Brent is hoping that he can at least get his best friend back as things have been lonely since their team split up.  They get quite lucky when a snow storm slows down the arrival of their friends.


We get to see both characters’ points of view in this story which goes a long way towards helping to understand what they are thinking and feeling.  Jake tries may times to let Brent know he is sorry and how he feels but never quite comes up with the right words, so he never sends the emails.  They are both lucky when one of their team reaches out to all of them to get up to date and then try and see each other.


Brent is so scared of being pushed away by his friend he has kept his feelings inside for so long he is even more scared to let them be known when Jake gives him an opening.  I felt for him right from the get go when the book began and how isolated he felt even from those around him.  I also felt Jake’s confusion and determination to make thing right between them when they finally meet up after their time apart.


The cover art by Sara York is nice romance cover and is eye catching.


Sales Links: Amazon


Book Details:

ebook, 195 pages

Published: March 1, 2017

Edition Language: English


Falling In (#2) – 4 out of 5 stars


When you hit a free-fall, you embrace it



Working hard comes naturally, but he’s never had to work so hard to get someone to notice him. Clay isn’t interested, or is he?


The trip on his boat is a test, but will it end in his favor? Temptation has Thomas hot, but will Clay leave Florida before he can act? He must take a chance or he’ll never forgive himself.



There’s something about Thomas that makes him hot under the collar. It’s not just the Florida heat, it’s the hot man at his side that has him sweating. Clay wants to take a test drive, but how does he raise the subject. Getting involved could end their friendship, and that’s the last thing he wants.


Just one kiss will change everything. Will he be brave when the opportunity comes up, or will he ignore the draw and leave Florida without ever taking a chance?


This was another nice story in this series.  I love learning more about all the members of this Marine team.  Clay’s stress level is through the roof at work right now and he definitely looking forward to his vacation on Daytona with the guys but his alone time with Thomas is even better.  Thomas takes a chance and they are just getting their relationship off the ground when Thomas has to go back to Virginia.


We see both Thomas and Clay’s thoughts and how scared they are that trying anything could ruin their friendship.  Thomas has worked hard to get his business going really enjoys getting to show Clay what he has done and see him enjoy it.  I could continue to see Clay’s worry about work and how he tried hard to keep it away from everyone.  I felt as if Thomas and Clay just clicked almost too well right away and everything worked out quickly even with the little bit of tension from Clay’s work in the background, most of the story was them just building their new life together but from the beginning they didn’t have to work much out between them.


The cover art by Sara York is nice and follows the pattern for the series.


Sales Links: Amazon


Book Details:

ebook, 197 pages

Published: June 15, 2017

Edition Language: English


Getting Through (#3) – 4 stars out of 5


What if it’s too difficult to get through the rough patches?



Being a nurse is Lane’s life, that is until Mike pushes him up against that damn door and kisses him like nobody’s business.


Now he’s left wondering how he can live without Mike at his side. But beneath the sweet, calm exterior Mike portrays to the world is something dark and dangerous. Will Lane be able to deal with the monster within, or will it consume both of them.



He can’t unsee the damage that bomb wrought or bring back his friend, but he can find solace in Lane’s arms…or he thinks he can.


One night together is too much, and his memories overwhelm him, opening him up to the trauma he witnessed. Memories are hard to conquer because they don’t have to fight back, they just twist their way deep into the mind, making life too hard to tolerate.


Can Lane save him, or will he push them both too far when the past threatens to overwhelm them.


This was the most emotional story of this series for sure and it picks right up where Falling In ended.  Lane is happy for his friends but really feels lonely when he goes back home to reality.  Mike has been the rock that all their friends go to when they need to talk or vent but he hasn’t let anyone know how he is really doing.


Lane’s experience and understanding goes a big way to help Mike as he hasn’t dealt with his memories and PTSD.  We say Mike’s helplessness in not knowing how to work through his issues to live a life with someone else in it.  I loved watching Lane give him a reason to stay and to actually see someone about working through everything he is feeling.


I love the support all of the men in this series give each other.  They all jumped on a plan to come and help Lane and Mike when they needed it and were way more understanding than many would be.  These guys has been through so much together and are finding that keeping the close relationships all around are a big help.  I was very glad to see that all three couples were moving closer to each other, I think it would be great to see all of them again sometime.


The cover art by Sara York while nice continues to follow the pattern of the series


Sales Links: Amazon


Book Details:

ebook, 190 pages

Published: August 12, 2017

Edition Language: English


Only You Series (3 books) by J.S. Finley