Hurricane Support and Aid. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Hurricane Support and Aid

First it was Hurricane Harvey in Texas …one that people are trying to recover from, now the State of Florida is anticipating the devastation from the largest hurricane to ever come out of the Atlantic, Hurricane Irma, even as others in Puerto Rico, the Bahamas and others are in shock over the utter destruction Irma has left them in.  Meanwhile Texas is still trying to get rescue personnel into the remaining unsearched areas still looking for missing people, pets, anything and anyone that has been left out of the basic recovery operation.  Meanwhile, out in the Atlantic, Hurricane Jose, now a Category 4, is churning towards the Caribbean islands, including what’s left of Barbuda.

And hurricane season has just begun.

I haven’t even talked about what’s happening in the Pacific Northwest with its 100 year heat wave and wildfires.

FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, that  “everyone” relies on for federal aid to rebuild (including Trump and his Mar a Lago) is expected be out of funds by Friday.  According to the Bloomberg Report and other financial reporting institutions, FEMA had only $541 million out of $1.01 Billion available for assisting those affected by Hurricane Harvey (per a FEMA spokesperson albeit anonymously).  According to the report “This equates to spending roughly $9.3 million an hour, or $155,000 every minute.”

Trump had asked Congress for 8 billion in aid for Houston alone, after asking Congress to cut FEMA’s budget to build his wall.  Now there’s Irma.  We haven’t begun to add up the totals from the fires in the the Pacific Northwest or the damage from the high heat to the crops there.  All federal disasters themselves.

Anyway I’m getting away from my point…again.

Disaster aid is something we can help with on a smaller scale.  I believe we all know someone in the affected area.  I have relatives in Florida, friends in Texas, relatives there too.  Connections are global these days.  On our local news are aid trucks leaving daily for Houston with water, clothes, canned goods from various collection points.  Already the same is starting for Florida in anticipation.  We  know it’s going to be bad.

What are other ways you can help?

From the New York Times:

  • GlobalGiving’s Irma Relief Fund is accepting donations here. It vets the local organizations it helps fund and is well-regarded by charity watchdogs. (GlobalGiving prioritizes local organizations over the long term, but often steers money toward larger entities like Save the Children or the International Medical Corps during the early days of disaster response.)
  • Donors can also visit the crowdsourcing website GoFundMe to give money to the Direct Impact Fund, a nonprofit that distributes money to smaller campaigns within the United States and its territories.
  • GoFundMe also hosts individual crowdfunding campaigns for people and organizations. Those include several based outside the United States in case you would prefer to give directly to, say, The American University of Antigua, which is steering money toward Barbuda, or the Caribbean Eagles, a bikers’ group whose clubhouse was damaged in St. Martin.
  • (GoFundMe says fraud is rare. It says it works to verify that all funds go to intended recipients, but it cannot always verify the specific claims made by individual campaigners.)

♥︎Check out your local news and media.  They have the most uptodate information on donations and relief effort in your area.  They can tell you  where the  collection sites are, when the trucks are leaving and who is in charge of the convoys.  They have also done the legwork in vetting these groups.

For Pets/Animals:

Already we have pets and animals rescued from the Harvey Hurricane arriving in our local animal shelters for fostering and adoption.  To get them here takes money, time and effort, which takes money.  These animals have been fed, cleaned, housed, given shots.  And the organizations doing this work need our support too.

http://www.wwltv.com/weather/harvey/harvey-relief-where-to-donate-locally/468464551

What to watch out for

  • To make sure you are giving to a legitimate and effective charity, check whether it has been rated or accredited by an organization like Charity NavigatorCharity Watch or the Better Business Bureau. These might not cover smaller, community-based charitable organizations. But you can read useful tips about choosing a charity from the Federal Trade Commission.
  • Among its recommendations: Do your research; don’t wire money or send cash; find out a charity’s address and phone number; call them if necessary; and be wary of charities that appear to be new.
  • Ms. Lake of GlobalGiving said that after major storms blow over and many emergency medical workers leave the scene, it is often up to local organizations to help rebuild communities. “These are organizations that are often overlooked and underfunded,’’ she said, “and they really do know their communities and are there for the long run.”

Here’s Charity Navigator’s Approved list for Houston Aid (and work for Florida too) as of Tuesday: 

• All Hands Volunteers
• American Kidney Fund
• American Red Cross
• Americares

• Best Friends Animal Society
• Brother’s Brother Foundation

• Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston
• Child Foundation
• Children’s Hunger Fund
• Convoy of Hope

• Delivering Good
• Direct Relief
• DonorsChoose.org

• Episcopal Relief & Development
• Feeding America
• First Book
• GlobalGiving

• Habitat for Horses
• Heart to Heart International
• Houston Food Bank

• International Orthodox Christian Charities
• International Relief Teams
• Islamic Relief USA
• Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago

• MAP International
• Matthew 25: Ministries
• Medical Teams International
• MedShare

• Operation Blessing International
• Operation USA

• Samaritan’s Purse
• Save the Children
• SBP
• ShelterBox USA
• Small Steps Nurturing Center
• Star of Hope Mission

• The ALS Association, National Office
• The Zakat Foundation of America

• UJA-Federation of New York
• United Way of Greater Houston
• World Vision
• YMCA of Greater Houston

 

More coming.  If you know of any, please forward it here and we will update the list for Florida too.  People in all the affected areas, you are in our thoughts….

 

Note:  Winners of International Literacy Day will be announced next week, along with their comments.  

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, September 10:

  • Hurricane Support and Aid
  • This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • Release Blitz for KA Merikan’s Manic Pixie Dream Boy

Monday, September 11:

  • Review Tour for Xavier Axelson’s Lavender
  • Dreamspinner Promo Andrew Grey
  • TOUR: Whitecott Manor by Emma Jane
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Family Man by Heidi Cullinan and Marie Sexton
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: His Mossy Boy (Being(s) in Love#8) by R. Cooper
  • A MelanieM Review: Lavender by Xavier Axelson

Tuesday, September 12:

  • RIPTIDE TOUR and Giveaway: The Quarterback by Mackenzie Blair
  • Release Blitz for Heloise West’s  His Dark Reflection (Haven & Heart #3)
  • Release Blitz and Giveaway for Saved by AM Arthur
  • Dreamspinner Promo Alicia Nordwell on Earning His Trust
  • A MelanieM Pre-Release Review: Enter the Dragon (The Bestiary) by Jamie Sullivan
  • A Julia Review: Heat Wave, Seasons of Love book 3, by Elyse Springer
  • An Alisa Review: His Secret Admirer by Edward Kendrick

Wednesday, September 13:

  • Dreamspinner Promo Sean Michael
  • Review Tour – Annabelle Jacobs’  Maybe This Time
  • Review Tour – Con Riley’s Be My Best Man
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Maybe This Time by Annabelle Jacobs
  • A Stella Review: Be My Best Man by Con Riley
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Cataclysmic Shift (The Aloysius Tales #3) by Tara Lain
  • A Jeri Review: Living Out Loud by Nyrae Dawn & Christina Lee

Thursday, September 14:

  • Book Blitz for Knight of Sherwood by N.B. Dixon
  • Dreamspinner Promo Shira Anthony on Finder’s Keeper (Heart’s Gate)
  • RIPTIDE TOUR and Giveaway: In His Majesty’s Service by Elizabeth Silver and Jenny Urban
  • A Caryn Review: Midlife Crisis by Audra North
  • A MelanieM Review: Cinnamon Eyes by Nell Iris
  • An Alisa Review : Beast of a Time (Hellhound Bound #1) by Misha Paige

Friday, September 15:

  • Blog Tour Temptation Series Book V by Ella Frank
  • DSP Publications Promo Lina Langley
  • Review Tour – Eli Easton – How To Save A Life (Howl #4)
  • A Lila Review: Life Is Not A Musical (Woodstock Love #1) by Vicktor Alexander
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Finder’s Keeper (Heart’s Gate) by Shira Anthony
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Finding Mr. Wright (Leaning N #2) by BA Tortuga
  • A Stella Review: How To Save A Life (Howl #4) by Eli Easton

Saturday, September 16:

  • Release Blitz – EXPOSURE by Aly Hayden
  • A MelanieM Review: Burning Tracks (Spotlight #2) by Lilah Suzanne
  • A MelanieM Audiobook Review: Drama Cruise (A Nicky & Noah Mystery  #3) by Joe Cosentino and Brad Enright (Narrator)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Release Blitz for KA Merikan’s Manic Pixie Dream Boy (excerpt and giveaway)

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 52,000 words approx
 
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
 
Blurb
 

You can’t hide the cracks under the spotlight

Dusk. Leader of The Underdogs. Destined for greatness. Lives in the now.

Abe. AKA Lolly. Iridescent. Unicorn.

All Dusk wants out of life is for his band to become world famous. He also wants to have a lot of fun along the way. And to get his rocks off. When he wants something, he goes for it, consequences be damned.

So when he sees a gorgeous pink-haired guy who is the human equivalent of tattooed cotton candy, he can’t help but have a taste. But it’s when Lolly ends up on their tour bus that Dusk knows their meeting was destiny.

Abe is the kind of guy who goes with the flow. He was hitchhiking anyway, so why not spend the week with a hot piece of rocker beefcake, getting smothered by his sexy long hair? And why not play the part of the supportive cutie while he’s at it? It’s not like he’d be sticking around for long anyway.

All plans hit a wall when photos of Abe and Dusk emerge online, suddenly pushing the band into the spotlight. To take advantage of the sudden popularity, the band offers Abe money for staying.

Which means money for being in a fake relationship with Dusk.

Which isn’t even fake.

Or is it?

 

Excerpt

The sun hit him like a red-hot hammer, and he squinted, rushing through the courtyard and into the shadow of the roof. His mouth was already smiling when he saw the logo of an ice cream manufacturer in the window. Since they’d already stopped, he might as well have something sweet to go with the savory. Or, possibly-maybe get peanut butter ice cream and win at breakfast?

The store greeted him with fresh, cool air that he inhaled with pleasure, delving between the shelves to find his prize. He could already see it from afar, next to a few jams, and coffee, and—who the fuck was that?

Dusk stopped breathing and just watched the dreamy, pink-haired creature move along the aisle, headbanging gently to music he was listening to through his mint-colored headphones. There was a lightness to his step, and Dusk followed the guy as if he were a rabbit leading Dusk to Wonderland.

The guy’s hair was styled into two thick, messy boxer braids tied with glittery bands. A pair of rollerblades swung from the guy’s large backpack. With each hypnotizing movement of slim hips clad in well-fitting denim shorts that ended just above the knees, Dusk was beckoned closer to the creature who was so at odds with the coarse surroundings, he must had stepped out of a fairytale and gotten lost in the New Mexican desert. His bare calves were nicely toned and dusted with blond hair, twitching slightly as the angel of a guy danced his way through the aisles.

He only stopped once he approached a newspaper stand and pulled out a music magazine. Leaning slightly against the wall, he finally allowed Dusk a good look on the profile of his boyish yet angular face. Working his way through the pages, he seemed completely immersed in his own little world.

One arm, tattooed in pastel-colored shapes that Dusk could not discern from afar, rose, and the guy pulled on a little white stick that peeked out of his mouth, revealing a shocking pink lollipop that he must have been sucking on all along.

Dusk licked his lips, wishing he could be that lollipop. He checked himself out in a mirror next to a stand with hats, just to make sure he didn’t have anything stuck to his face, and he moved closer to the pastel-hued poisonous butterfly. The guy was cute, colorful, but there was an edge to his look. His neck was inked, and his septum pierced. Oh, how Dusk craved to put his hand against the guy’s Adam’s apple.

He couldn’t recall the last time he was rendered speechless, since he was anything but shy. This guy though, casually sucking on a pink lollipop at this gas station in the middle of nowhere, was making Dusk’s throat dry, his palms sweat, and his dick beg for action.

Lolly blinked and gave a short laugh, staring at something in the magazine. Still gently moving his body to the music coming from his headphones, he rhythmically tapped the lollipop against his lips, only to greedily suck it back in. Every time he smiled, a little black star under his eye moved. At first Dusk had assumed it was painted-on, but as he stared more intently, he recognized it as a tattoo.

That was it. Dusk needed to get himself a piece of that.

He took a few steps closer and reached for a magazine off a shelf above Lolly’s head to get an opportunity to stretch in front of the guy, and when their eyes met, he smiled.

Lolly’s eyes were big and so blue they fit right in with his image. He leaned his head back to look at Dusk more comfortably and pushed the headphones to rest around his neck, revealing flesh plugs of the same minty color. Score.

He moved the lollipop in his mouth with his tongue so that the stick was at the side and wouldn’t prevent him from speaking. “What’s up?”

“What’s the flavor?” Dusk pointed to Lolly’s mouth. He bet it now tasted of wet hot sin.

Lolly pulled on the lollipop so that it slid halfway out of his mouth, only to suck it back in, loudly and without shame. “What flavor do you like?”

“I like fruity. And my manager only allows me one sweet thing a day, so I gotta choose wisely.” It was utter bullshit, but did it matter when their gazes met so intensely neither of them blinked? “Can I try yours to see if I wanna buy it?”

Lolly pulled on the stick, so tantalizingly slow, teasing Dusk with his blue eyes and long lashes, with his perfect tanned skin, with his toned arms that were tattooed into various landmarks and animals. Lolly was not only hot. He wasdesire.

“What do I get in return?”

Sink or swim. Dusk would either get a kick in the nuts or a laugh. He leaned down to whisper into Lolly’s ear. Worst case scenario, he could play it down into a joke and continue from there. “You give me something sweet, I give you something salty.”

Dusk’s skin tingled where they almost touched, and he closed his eyes when the soft, frizzy hair brushed against his cheek. Lolly smelled of something sweet, and yet a bit bitter, in a delicious masculine way that made Dusk want to savor him all the more. Cotton candy made of seaweed? No. That made no sense.

Lolly gave a short laugh, and his fingers briefly rubbed Dusk’s chest. “I’m intrigued.”

Dusk pulled back just enough to look into Lolly’s eyes, and the spot on Dusk’s chest where he’d been touched seemed to tingle as if invisible unicorns galloped along his pecs. How far could he push his luck? The guy wasn’t offended by the dirty joke. Sparks of attraction shone between them as if they’d been glitter bombed, and Dusk found it hard to focus on anything but the pretty lips and blue eyes.

“Intrigued enough to follow me outside and risk that I’m a total psycho serial killer?”

Lolly pulled the candy out of his mouth and slowly moved it along the pink line of his tempting lips, leaving behind a sticky sheen. “Maybe you could taste my lollipop in the restrooms?”

“Fuck yes…” Dusk thought it, but then realized he’d also said it out loud. Oh, who cared? His dick was already filling at the thought of all the things Dusk wanted to do with the sweet lips of this heavenly creature. Was the restroom here actually big enough to fuck in? It better be, because one way or another, he would be scoring soon.

 

 
About K.A. Merikan
 

K. A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are taken for sisters with surprising regularity. Kat’s the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnes’s ass when she’s slacking off. Her memory works like an easy-access catalogue, which allows her to keep up with both book details and social media. Also works as the emergency GPS. Agnes is the Merikan nitpicker, usually found busy with formatting and research. Her attention tends to be scattered, and despite pushing thirty, she needs to apply makeup to buy alcohol. Self-proclaimed queen of the roads.

They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of – it will be full of surprises.

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