A Stella Recent Release Review:Of Gods and Monsters: Komainu (Of Gods and Monsters #3) by Wulf Francú Godgluck

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Hades

His innocence was the fire that blighted the deepest dark, but even he can’t save the King from a past stained so black, the devil won’t even touch it.

Years creep up on you, like a rotting hand: cold and wet, it will drag you down into your grave.

Life will hand you eternity only to rip it away from you.

Love will slaughter you in the most beautiful way and still manage to nail you in the ass, bareback, when you see him choose the heart of another man.

But Death… He is a patient soul. He waits, and he waits, and he waits.

‘Cause the bastard knows he will always have the last laugh when he knocks at the door.

Kemono

Memories were all I had, all I had clung to as my heart turned to stone and finally to dust.

Now he is mine and I will hold him, and I will kiss him. We will dance and we will laugh, and we will cry… We will be human together…

I did not know heaven until I knew him.

There is no greater power that can tear and rip your world apart as when their lips finally kiss yours again.

But being human comes at a fatal price.

Sometimes you have to let go of the hand you hold onto so tightly that it brought pain, because that is the only way you can save them from Death.

Rex

Why did she take them away, hand them back, then force me to choose?

Is love really that cruel, that she would enjoy tormenting you as you watch the two men you love with your whole heart, kill each other…?

And then, my worst fear, my deepest darkest nightmare became a living breathing thing.

Death had come to take from us what we could never replace.

I’m not sure what to write in this review and the reason is pretty simple: I loved the story even if I should not have. I was desperately waiting for this new release to come out. I begged for it. And I was satisfied, well until a point, because the author went where he shouldn’t have and he knows it. And I can’t talk about it so I have no clue how to well explain why I have mixed feelings about the story.
Let’s start saying I spent a lot of days on this book, it took me a while to finish it and of course I savoured every single word but I struggled with them too. It wasn’t simple to read, maybe because I felt it more violent, maybe because I’m too used to other themes in my “usual” books, I don’t know. Yes the story is dark but if you already are familiar with the series you know what to expect. Although in this new installment things went ballistic and more than once they were uncomfortable to me.
I loved the structure of the narration,, how the author decided to tell me what was going to happen, I adored how I had time to know the characters better, especially to see Rex alone by himself and then Hades and Kimono together. They were nutcases but they were so deeply connected I couldn’t wait for Rex to be with them and get their HEA.
I can’t say more but if you are reading the series you need KOMAINU now. I’m waiting for more to come and truly hope the author will give me and the characters some deserved peace.
Cover art is dark and menacing.  Exactly what I’ve come to expect.
Sales Links:  Amazon
Book Details:
Published 2016 by Self
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesOf Gods and Monsters #3

A MelanieM Pre-Release Review: Enter the Dragon (The Bestiary) by Jamie Sullivan

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Since a ceasefire was called on the Dragon Wars, dragons and humans have lived in an uneasy partnership. To help humans understand dragons and prepare future dragon trainers, the Academy was created. Jac Conway is an eager student, long enthralled with all things dragon. But even he, with all his hopes and ambitions, never dreamed of just how close to them one night would bring him …

For a short story I found myself totally sunk into this world in a short amount of time.  The author throws us and Jae down a scary tunnel on mating night and the rest of the story just carries us away.  Yes, I wish to know more about the past history, how the dragons decided it was worth it to come together with humans.  The tantalizing elements here raise so many questions that a mere 50 odd pages can’t begin to answer.

But the promise, the characters, small and large, the glimpses I saw of something bigger…well, if this is the start of a series I can’t wait to see what the author brings next.  I hope to see these characters again as well.  What a way to shake up an  academy!

Cover art by Kirby Crow is pretty, but the blue is distracting.

Sales Links:  Pre order Links at Less Than Three Press

Book Details:

ebook. 56 pages
Expected publication: October 4th 2017 by Less Than Three Press (first published November 21st 2012)
ISBN13 9781684311057
Edition Language English
Series The Bestiary

An Alisa Review: His Secret Admirer by Edward Kendrick

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

 

When the first note shows up at the restaurant where he works — when he isn’t designing costumes for a local theater — Jim Foster laughs it off. When the notes keep coming, he doesn’t find the fact that he might have a secret admirer quite so amusing.

 

Alan North, a lonely, bookish customer at the restaurant, is too shy to even think of talking to Jim — as much as he wants to.

 

Then the killings begin. Two of Jim’s friends are murdered in what appear to be muggings. However, the detective in charge of the cases believes they’re more than that, and that Jim is either the killer … or being stalked by one.

 

When Jim and Alan finally connect, can they help find and stop the stalker, or will Alan end up dead before their budding relationship can become more than friendship?

 

This was an interesting story.  Jim is lonely and isn’t sure what he thinks about having an admirer and fears that it could be a woman.  Alan is sure that Jim will never notice him but they connect by coincidence.

 

This story is told from both MCs points of view so it gives us the opportunity to see what both of these characters are thinking.  Jim doesn’t have the time or much inclination to find a partner between his two jobs.  He is flattered by the notes but isn’t sure what to think.  Alan is terribly shy and knows he isn’t a catch so he decides to stay in the shadows but once they actually talk and get to know each other he opens up pretty quickly.  The mystery of the stalker was interesting but while important didn’t add much to the story and it seemed that even though they went “slow” their relationship built pretty quickly.

 

The cover art by Written Ink Designs is nice and gives great visuals of the characters.

 

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 151 pages

Published: August 5, 2017 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781634864497

Edition Language: English

An Alisa Review:The Ides of March (Seasons of Change #3) by Michelle King

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Rating:  3 stars out of 5

A spot of Irish Magic, the kiss of a leprechaun, and a love is reborn. Years ago Colin and Kelly had parted ways in the most painful of ways. Years passed, thousands of miles stretched, yet the pain caused by those hard words refused to ease.

Adulthood brought opportunity.

Colin returned to the place of his teenaged years, Portland Oregon. And there, at the St. Patrick’s Day celebration, he heard a familiar sound. An Irish ballad he’d once taught to his young love. He followed the sound…to his Kelly.

The song Kelly’d been requested to sing did nothing but rub the unhealed scab that was his heart. Colin had taught it to him, and he could only think of Colin when he sang it. Still, money was money so he sang…wishing all the while that his love was not half a world away. Or was he?

Could that be true? Could that really be Colin? Could he believe in March Magic?

But Kelly’s lover wasn’t the only thing that arrived from the past.

Kelly is still trying to get on his feet from everything that happened to him after Colin left years ago.  It seems that he hasn’t had a good life and his parents made it even worse for him and it continues to this day.  He can’t even begin to hope for anything to go his way.

I felt like I was missing a lot of back story while I was reading.  We see little glimpses of what has happened in the past through Kelly and Colin’s thoughts but I didn’t feel that I could put it all together.  Colin seems determined to stay in Kelly’s life but the story is left very open ended so anything could happen.  At the end we see the connection to the characters from the last book and I hope that a future story can put it all together for me.

Cover art by GD Leigh is nice and follows the pattern for the series.

Sales Links: Loose Id | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 81 pages

Published: August 7, 2017 by Loose Id

ISBN: 978-1-68252-354-4

Edition Language: English

Series: Seasons of Change #3

 

Alicia Nordwell on Earning His Trust (special excerpt and giveaway)

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Earning His Trust by Alicia Nordwell
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Maria Fanning

Release Date: Sept. 6th

Purchase Links: Dreamspinner PressUniversal Amazon Link  | Barnes & NobleKobo  

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Alicia Nordwell here today on her tour for Earning His Trust.  She’s brought along a special excerpt for our readers to enjoy.  Welcome, Alicia!

♥︎

A Special Moment from Earning His Trust by Alicia Nordwell

I know, like so many other authors, that by the time my eBook hits the virtual shelves, I’ve read it over and over. Writing prior to submission means a rough draft, an edited draft, a publisher submission draft, then the editing process takes even longer. So, sometimes, by the time the book is available to readers, the last thing I want to do is read the story again. But there’s almost always at least one moment that I can’t help but like more than everything else, a scene I loved writing because it just spoke to me.

    For Earning His Trust, that’s this one:

Micah was standing up in bed holding on to the crib railings when Evin opened the door. “Well, look at you!” he said. “Who’s on his feet like a big boy?” Micah cooed and bounced, but then his legs gave out and he fell right on his butt. His eyes got big, but he didn’t cry.

“Good thing you have lots of padding and that bed is soft, huh? I bet we’re in for a lot of bonks in the near future.” He deftly got Micah’s sweats and onesie off so he could change his soaked diaper. “What do you want to wear, little man?” He had the cutest little pair of jeans and a red-and-green-striped onesie outfit Gianna gave him, and then he pulled on a dark blue snowflake sweater on top. Micah’s head got stuck in the hole, and he started to fuss.

“Where’s Micah?” Evin fiddled with the tiny snaps on the shoulder. “There he is!” Micah giggled and clapped, making it hard to snap the sweater back up, but Evin finally managed. “Okay, I guess we’re ready.”

Once they were in the car, Evin plugged the address Ben gave him into the navigation system. It wasn’t far, but he had to contend with traffic on I-84, which was never good in the afternoon. A few turns off the highway, and he was there. Evin stared at Ben’s house. Two stories, brown siding, green grass a little overgrown with a few shrubs lining the porch… generic. It didn’t feel especially welcoming, but that might be more that he was nervous about hanging out at Ben’s for the first time. He felt out of his element.

“Ready, Micah?”

Micah gurgled and babbled something very enthusiastic. Apparently Evin was the only one not sure about spending time at Ben’s house. He got out of the car and unbuckled Micah from his new seat. “Let’s get you inside first.” He slung the diaper bag over his shoulder.

The door opened even before Evin reached the porch.

“Hi guys,” Ben said. He was barefoot in a pair of loose jeans and a dark blue T-shirt that stretched nicely across his chest.

“Hey. Oh no, stay inside. It’s cold out here,” Evin protested when Ben stepped out. His son, the traitor, was reaching for Ben with grabby hands, squealing.

“Let me take him. You still need to get the playpen, right?”

“Yeah.” Evin handed over the diaper bag when Ben held out his other hand. “I brought some toys too.”

“Great. I’m going to get him inside. The door will be cracked.” Ben was chatting with Micah, holding him up and giving him a little shake until he giggled, drool coating his lips. “Uh-oh, is someone getting another tooth?”

“I hope not.” Evin trotted back over to the car and opened the truck, hefting the playpen. Gone were the days he could lay Micah down on a blanket and know he’d be safe for a quick dash to the bathroom or kitchen; nope, now his son was mobile.

It was scary. Nearly as scary as—

“Are you okay out there?” Ben called from the front door.

Evin jerked his head up. “No, I mean… yes, I’m fine. Be right there.”

Ben’s house had an open floor plan, so when Evin peeled off his shoes and stepped out of the entryway, he could see both the living room and the kitchen. Ben had Micah on his hip while he stirred something on the stove. Evin wheeled the playpen through the thick rug to a corner by the window to set it up. Micah loved looking outside.

There were a few decorations here and there, though Ben didn’t have a tree. Evin wanted to look at a series of framed black-and-white photos he could see marching down the hallway, but he didn’t want to seem nosy. “Something smells really good.”

“I’m just warming up the pesto salad.” Ben turned, a wooden spoon in his hand. “It’ll be done in a few minutes.”

“Don’t tell me it’s the one your mom used to make?”

Ben grinned. “The one and the same. I even called her to make sure I used the right ingredients.”

Evin raised an eyebrow. “And told her what?”

“That a friend was coming over for dinner, and I was tired of takeout.” Ben held Evin’s stare, not looking away. “We’re friends, right?”

He looked away when Evin nodded slowly. “Good,” he said quietly enough Evin had to strain to hear him.

The pasta was every bit as amazing as Evin remembered. Ben had made tea with dinner, and they talked and laughed without more awkward pauses. Micah had a brief tantrum when he was relegated to his playpen, but Evin had fed him quickly while Ben finished the pasta dish, and Evin wanted to appreciate the hard work Ben put into the meal.

Micah was tired, so Evin took the armchair Ben indicated to rock him to sleep. It didn’t take long before he was sleeping like an angel, his nearly white eyelashes swept down over his pink cheeks.

       

Blurb

Evin lost the only two men he ever loved. But he might get a second chance with one of them—if he’s willing to take the risk.   

Following the death of his husband, Evin is living in Portland and raising the infant son they had through a surrogate. Six-month-old Micah is his life, and if it means no time for activities or friendships beyond his minuscule support network, that’s a sacrifice Evin is willing to make. When he suffers a burn baking teething biscuits, the last person Evin expects to encounter in the ER is Ben, his lover from college—and the man who left him without a word of explanation.   

Ben knows it won’t be easy to earn Evin’s trust and prove he’s not the same man Evin once knew, but he can’t bear to watch Evin struggle to care for Micah, hurting and alone. He wants back in Evin’s life, as a friend and hopefully more, but Evin’s heart is fragile, and the years have changed him too.

Price: $4.99
Genre: Contemporary
Length: 38,718

Excerpt

The curtain slid on the overhead rails, and Evin held in his urge to snap about how long it took to get to him when the nurse said the ER was slow, but he froze with his mouth open.

“Hello, I’m Dr. Perez. I see you burn—” The doctor snapped his jaw shut and stopped before he reached the head of the bed. Micah was oblivious, sitting between his legs and playing with his fake keys, chewing away on the rubber tips and drooling. He clutched the soggy remains of a biscuit in his other hand.

Evin had to swallow hard himself. Of all the hospitals, in all the cities, his old boyfriend had to be in this one.

He looked… good. Older, some wrinkles at the corners of his eyes. It had been… how long since he’d seen him? Not since Ben was graduating medical school the same year Evin was graduating with a business degree. Evin certainly never expected to see him here, and by the shocked look on Ben’s face, he hadn’t known Evin lived in Portland either. Evin waited for Ben to say something else, but he just kept staring. Evin took a deep breath. He could be an adult. He was a dad now.

“Burned my hand,” he finished the sentence Ben never did. “I did it about an hour ago, and it really hurts.” Maybe he could move this along. Plus, Micah was on his third biscuit and getting fussy again. He probably needed to be changed, have some lunch, and then would fall asleep for the afternoon, just so he could keep Evin up all night again.

Ben dropped his gaze to Micah and then looked up to stare at Evin again. “What happened to you?”

Did he mean how Evin probably looked like he’d aged at least ten years since Ben bailed right before graduation, the last night they’d spoken? Well, spoken wasn’t a very good description for the fight they’d had after weeks of Ben ducking Evin’s questions about what he was planning. Maybe their relationship had run its course; maybe it was better for them not to be together.

But he’d never expected Ben to just up and leave. It’d been hard, but Evin had a job offer in Portland and he’d taken it. Fortunately, his best friend, Gianna, came with him, and they got an apartment together in a not-so-great area of Happy Valley. It’d been nice to have a friend he knew would stick by him, but then she met Carl, and they fell in love. Not long after that he met someone, but that had gone wrong too.

Gone was the bright, glittery guy who lit up the room in a flash, and this version of himself was all Evin knew how to be anymore. It was probably a disappointment. His hair was cut short instead of hanging down to his shoulders, and he was in a blue T-shirt and a pair of gray sweats instead of skintight everything. Nothing at all like how Ben would remember him.

Was he wondering how in the hell Evin had a kid, since he’d never even kissed a girl—at least before when Ben knew him? Probably.

Or had he brushed off their history, leaving Evin as the only one thinking about how the years had changed them—Ben definitely for the better. Most likely, he meant how Evin got the burn. He was a professional after all, and Evin was probably just another patient to him.

In the end, it didn’t really matter. His appearance, how he got hurt, it all came down to just one thing.

“Teething.”

About the Author

The number one question folks ask Alicia when she shares she’s a MM romance author: “Why gay fiction? Why write men when you’re a woman?” and her answer is: “Why the hell not!” Alicia Nordwell is one of those not so rare creatures, a reader turned writer. Striving to find an interesting story one day, she decided to write what she wanted instead. Then the voices started… Yep, not only does she talk about herself in the third person for bios, she has voices in her head constantly clamoring to get out. Fortunately, with the encouragement of her family and friends, she decided for her own sanity to keep writing.

Now you can find her stories both free and e-published. When she’s not on the computer typing away, she’s a wife and a mom of two in the dreary, yet ideal for her redhead complexion, Pacific Northwest. Except for when she disappears into one of the many worlds in her head, of course! She can also be found quite often at her blog, where she has a lot of free fiction for readers to enjoy or working hard, or maybe hardly working, as an admin on GayAuthors.org under her online nickname, Cia.

Social Media:

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Release Blitz for Saved (Breaking Free #1) by AM Arthur (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  Saved

Series: Breaking Free #1

Author: A.M. Arthur

Publisher: Briggs-King Books

Release Date: September 12, 2017

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 67,000 words

Genre: Romance, non-shifter Omegaverse, alternate universe, mpreg

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Synopsis

He didn’t want an alpha to save him, but fate had other ideas…

Braun Etting was raised to know his place as an omega by his alpha father’s cruel words and fast fists, and he expects nothing but violence from the alpha who may one day mate him. His older brother Kell mated a cruel alpha who abuses him daily, and Braun is terrified of that seemingly inevitable future. When Braun’s father dies in a car crash, leaving Braun an orphan, he’s sent to a halfway house for omegas. But on his fourth night there, he witnesses a horrifying crime that sends him fleeing to the streets alone—and edging into his first heat.

Tarek Bloom is settled in his workaholic, single lifestyle, even if it is somewhat embarrassing to be a twenty-eight year-old unmated alpha. He enjoys his job as a constable, helping people and solving problems, so he isn’t prepared for his life to flip upside-down when he walks into his beta friend Dex’s apartment to help with “a problem.”

The problem turns out to be an unmated, nearly in-heat omega orphan who Dex and his husband rescued off the street last night. The even bigger problem is that Tarek feels the mating bond for this terrified omega immediately—and he’s pretty sure the omega feels it, too. But Braun hates alphas as a general rule, and no way is he giving in to the bond. All mating leads to is violence and suffering, so no thank you. But Tarek’s gentle kindness slips under Braun’s emotional shields, and Braun begins to want. To dream. All Braun has ever known is violent alphas, but Tarek is determined to make Braun trust him—and to trust in the idea of their happily ever after.

NOTE: This is a non-shifter Omegaverse story with alpha/omega/beta dynamics, heats, knotting, and mpreg. In this world, omegas are second-class citizens with few civil rights and almost no protections under the law. Trigger warnings for physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. 67,000 words.

Excerpt

“Would you be able to describe exactly what you saw that night in detail?” Tarek pulled a notepad and pen out of his front pocket.

Braun’s entire body went rigid. “Why? Who are you really?”

“I really am Tarek Bloom.” For a moment, he actually seemed contrite. “What I didn’t tell you is that I’m also a constable.”

“Shit.” Braun bolted out of his chair and toward the front door, fork still in his hand.

In a flurry of movement, Tarek was in front of him, blocking his path to the door, and Braun lashed out with the fork. Dex grabbed his wrist and plucked the fork out of his hand, but that didn’t stop Braun from swinging. He punched Tarek in the chest. Twice. Panic settled in, overriding his common sense, and he tried to push past the brick wall of a man.

“Let me go! I won’t go back, I won’t!”

Arms wrapped around his torso from behind, pinning his arms to his sides. Serge’s comforting scent settled his racing mind a bit, but it was Tarek’s hand on the back of his neck that settled Braun completely.

“Calm down, firecracker,” Tarek said. His deep voice soothed Braun’s frazzled nerves, and his touch sent his pulse racing with delight. “You’re still safe, I promise. No one here wants to hurt you.”

“Why do you care?” Braun snarled. “I’m just some useless omega you’ve known for twenty minutes.”

“You’re far from useless, little one.”

Tarek’s other hand rose, nearing Braun’s face. Braun snapped at his fingers. “I’m only a womb to you.”

“Far from it, my firecracker.” The hand on his neck squeezed. “Far from it.”

The grounding touch made Braun want to roll over and show his belly, but he was done being passed around. Done letting other people control his life. He didn’t want to feel this mating bond to Tarek, but he also couldn’t turn it off. Even with the heat block, Tarek was under his skin, doing funny things to his insides.

Angry and confused, Braun dared look an alpha in the eye.

Purchase at Amazon

Meet the Author

A.M. Arthur was born and raised in the same kind of small town that she likes to write about, a stone’s throw from both beach resorts and generational farmland. She’s been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long, in a losing battle to make the fictional voices stop. She credits an early fascination with male friendships (bromance hadn’t been coined yet back then) with her later discovery of and subsequent love affair with m/m romance stories. A.M. Arthur’s work is available from Carina Press, Dreamspinner Press, SMP Swerve, and Briggs-King Books.

When not exorcising the voices in her head, she toils away in a retail job that tests her patience and gives her lots of story fodder. She can also be found in her kitchen, pretending she’s an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | eMail | A.M.’s Pot O Gold | Newsletter

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RIPTIDE TOUR and Giveaway: The Quarterback by Mackenzie Blair

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The Quarterback by Mackenzie Blair
Riptide Publishing
Cover by: Natasha Snow

Read an Excerpt/Buy It Here at Riptide Publishing

✒︎

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Mackenzie Blair on her tour for The Quarterback. Welcome, Mackenzie!

Hello, I’m Mackenzie Blair and I’ve been reading romance novels ever since my mom took me to used book sale after book sale as a teenager.  I loved that every romance novel had a happy ending.  (Those covers were also pretty scandalous to my small-town mind, so there was probably a good dose of rebellion in my reading as well.) A few years ago, I discovered MM romance, and although I’d considered writing a romance novel for years, it turns out it took an MM story to finally inspire me to finish one!

So I hope you enjoy reading THE QUARTERBACK as much as I loved writing it.

About The Quarterback

In walks Trevor Kim, a gorgeous, pierced, tattooed fellow Bodine student who does massages—without happy endings—to pay for school after his family kicked him out for being gay. Trevor takes one look at Matt and breaks all his own rules about mixing business with pleasure.

Matt needs to keep his scholarship, win the National Championship, and survive his asshole father. Instead, he falls in love. Trevor needs to accept that the football god is meant to end up with him rather than a perky cheerleader. It’s time for a happy ending for both of them.

Now available from Riptide Publishing

About Mackenzie Blair

Mackenzie Blair is an award-winning screenwriter in Los Angeles who’s written for shows and films you’ve probably heard of.  Mackenzie grew up in the South but fled the humidity for earthquakes, university, and a brief stint in finance. As a cynical idealist, she prefers to write happy endings whenever possible.

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of The Quarterback, one lucky winner will receive a $30 Riptide gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 16, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!