A MelanieM Review: Hunter (Brawlers #4) by J.M. Dabney

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Welcome to Brawlers Bar…

If there was a way to completely destroy his life, Hunter Black would do it. He was a catastrophe waiting to happen. Survival was his only priority and having to leave his old life behind that meant a job of the legal variety. He’d found one as a bartender at Brawlers Bar and a safe place in a huge house with the rest of the bar crew who quickly became the family he’d never had. The one thing Hunter didn’t need was his old life tracking him down.

Deputy Wren Gramble hated his job and his weekend assignment of staking out a bar in the middle of nowhere waiting for drunks. Although he’d heard the homophobic and racist jokes going around about the crew and customers, he kept his head down and stuck to his job and nothing else. He despised being driven back into the closet, but he’d reached the end of the line and what he’d do if he earned another transfer he didn’t know.

Linus Trenton was considered the normal one in his family and according to the weird ones that meant he should be punished on a daily basis. He never came out one way or another, if he found someone attractive he was attracted. His life was complicated enough having a crush on the sweet and awkward Hunter but now he had to throw Wren into the mix. Linus didn’t have time for dating or romance, most of the time he didn’t even think about having a sex life, although, Wren and Hunter were ruining his calm.

Hunter was in lust with the handsome deputy the minute the man pulled him over, but a man like that wouldn’t give him the time of day. His friend, Linus, was another matter altogether. Hunter wanted both. His bosses made it work with their man, why couldn’t he? Could Hunter prove he wasn’t as much of a screw up as he appeared or would he have to call in backup to claim his men?

Hunter (Brawlers #4) by J.M. Dabney surprised me in many ways.  For me it seemed to hold  the least amount of angst that i’ve come to expect of the Dabney men and the Brawlers series.  Hunter is quiet to the point of utter silence, he’s so clumsy that he often poses a danger to himself and others, shy with a self esteem that seems to exist at basement level.  He’s bearish with long hair (how the cover missed a motherlode there) and everyone seems to want to look after him.  Surprisingly again, the author is stingy with Hunter’s backstory. At least with the others, we’ve gotten an idea of the circumstances that brought them to Brawler’s.  Here we just get the barest outline of jail time and some juvenile arrests, not nearly enough.

Those details are left for Linus Trenton and Deputy Wren Gramble, the two men vying for Hunter’s love and ending up as a threesome.  As the fourth book in the Brawlers series, it’s also the one that sees the most storyline involving the corruption within the Sheriff’s Department and how that affects Hunter, Linus, and Wren.  This book also sets the stage for my all time favorite stories and series, the Executioners.  So maybe, Hunter just had too much to do.

But whatever the case maybe I felt as though this threesome was missing some of that magic, or vivid relationship interactions that brought the other three stories alive.  Somehow I never felt as connected to these men as I did all the other couples (and it’s not due to the fact that it’s a menage – those can be very hot).   Maybe it was that it felt as though it happened too fast, or just that Hunter had ignored Linus and then he didn’t.  I’m not sure what the element here is that made me wishing for all the other couples stories again but the spark, that heat, never flared.  Sweet, happy even, yes….but never quite Brawlers red hot.

There are some really funny moments here to enjoy. I can always count on the author to supply those, usually along with some major angst which is missing here.  Dabney’s  wonderful dialog and  rough hewn characters are always something I look forward to and I needed to see Hunter get his HEA which he does.  Most importantly though, the author is tying up some story threads and setting the tone and overall plot in place for two of the best books of the connected series (all three), that would be Ghost and Joker.  I have listed all the series and stories below.

I don’t really consider any of these stories stand alone as they flow from one person to another, connecting, developing and using each as a foundation for the next.  So remarkable.   So one more jump backward to the Twirled World Ink series to see where it all began.

Whether it’s Hunter or the Brawlers series, I absolutely  recommend them all.  Then continue to  finish off all the series and wait for the rest to be released just like me!  I can hardly wait.

Cover art by Winterheart Designs is showing just the torso.  I think this is a miss as they could have included Hunter’s signature long hair.

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Details:

book, 160 pages
Published June 13th 2017 by Hostile Whispers Press
Series Brawlers #4

An Alisa Audiobook Review: Afraid to Fly by LA Witt and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

Once a fearless fighter pilot, Commander Travis Wilson is now confined to a desk. It’s been eight years since the near-fatal crash that grounded him, and it still rules his life thanks to relentless back pain.

 

Lieutenant Commander Clint Fraser almost drowned in a bottle after a highly classified catastrophe while piloting a drone. His downward spiral cost him his marriage and kids, but he’s sober now and getting his life back on track. He’s traded drones for a desk, and he’s determined to reconcile with his kids and navigate the choppy waters of PTSD.

 

Clint has been on Travis’s radar ever since he transferred to Anchor Point. When Clint comes out to his colleagues, it’s a disaster, but there’s a silver lining: now that Travis knows Clint is into men, the chemistry between them explodes.

 

It’s all fun and games until emotions get involved. Clint’s never been in love with a man before. Travis has, and a decade later, that tragic ending still haunts him. Clint needs to coax him past his fear of crashing and burning again, or their love will be grounded before takeoff.

 

This was a great story of two broken men finding love and acceptance with one another.  Clint has had a hard battle to bring his life around and still has to face his ex’s scrutiny and his own doubts.  Travis has worked hard to keep relationships from getting too involved as they always leave but will Clint be the exception?

 

Both of these characters’ stories are heartbreaking.  After Clint’s drone catastrophe he doesn’t have anywhere or anyone to turn to and his life just implodes and he’s finally on an even keel but still incredibly lonely without any family around or anyone to lean on.  Travis knows that no one will ever want to deal with his back pain, heck he doesn’t want to deal with it and when thoughts from his past start to come back to haunt him he wants to run in fear.  I loved how Clint wasn’t willing to just let go and was willing to work for them to figure it all out.

 

Nick Russo did a wonderful job narrating this story.  I could just feel the characters’ emotions right along with them while listening.  The different voices he used for the characters helped me keep up with what was going on and get an idea of the characters personality some more.

 

I love the cover art by LC Chase and it follows the pattern for the series.

 

Sales Links:  Audible | Amazon | iTunes

 

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 9 hrs 22 min
Published: August 31, 2017 (ebook first published January 16, 2017) by Riptide
Edition Language: English

Series: Anchor Point #2

An Alisa Recent Release Review: Picture Winter by Amy Aislin

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

What happens when two Capricorns fall in love?

 

Do something new today.

 

Why he looks at his horoscope every day, Elias Hood doesn’t know. It’s all garbage, and no nickel fortune ever helped him climb all the way up the corporate ladder. He’s about to make Vice President. Rocking the boat with “something new” is the last thing on his mind.

 

But there’s this guy.

 

Ty Green can make friends with a tree and Elias can’t help falling for his easy-going vibe and his perfect smile. He’s a fellow Capricorn, like Elias, but that’s as far as their similarities go. Ty works to live—he doesn’t live to work. When Elias takes his horoscope’s advice and asks Ty out, both men are in for a shock. But as Elias’s walls start to come down, they might just realize that they have more in common than they think. In fact, they might even want the exact same thing.

 

Who knows? Maybe horoscopes aren’t just trash after all.

 

I immensely enjoyed this story, it is just two men falling in love and learning to navigate a relationship and their lives together.  Elias seems like such a stick in the mud at the beginning but we soon learn there is more than meets the eye.  Ty is just a bubble of energy and is the perfect force to break through Elias’s walls.

 

My heart broke for how Elias’s childhood had made him need to have security in his job and life, even if it isn’t what he has always wanted to do.  They help each other see that their plans can change but that doesn’t mean it isn’t what they are meant to be doing.  It was beautiful how Ty’s family embraces Elias into their lives from the very beginning.

 

I did love how they were willing to take the relationship at their own pace, which is much faster than many but it works for them.  They talk things out and make sure that they don’t overstep.  There was no big thing for them to “solve” in regards to their relationship but I think that this story was perfectly done for these characters.

 

The cover art by Melody Pond is beautiful and I think it’s perfect for this story.

 

Sales Links: MLR Press | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 173 pages

Published: October 6, 2017 by MLR Press

Edition Language: English

K-lee Klein on Writing Songs, Poetry, and her latest release ‘Unbroken Hearts (Unbreak My Heart #2)’ (guest post and giveaway)

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Unbroken Hearts (Unbreak My Heart #2) by K-lee Klein
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Release date: October 11, 2017

Buy Links: Dreamspinner PressAmazonGoodReads

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host K-lee Klein on her Unbroken Hearts tour.  The author is here today sharing songs written for the character, Brett Blakk,  poetry, and a giveaway to enter as well.

✒︎

Thanks for dropping by my Unbroken Hearts blog tour. I’m thrilled for the release of the second edition and second book of the Unbreak My Heart series, Unbroken Hearts, on October 11th with Dreamspinner Press.

This edition includes the newly polished and edited novella, Unbroken Hearts, plus the short story, Unwrapped Hearts, and 25,000 words of new content to continue Brett and JT’s romance. I have some great giveaways so make sure you enter at the end of the post.

I adore writing this series and one of the reasons is because Brett is a musician and I let myself completely step out of my comfort box to write songs for Brett Blakk. Composing is like writing poetry to me, and I’m a very big closet-poet.

There are many forms of poetry both classic and modern, with free or formal verse, and I love them all. Formal poems or traditional, are also called metrical verse because they follow rules with regards to stanza length and rhyme patterns. Types of formal poems include haikus, sonnets, and sestinas.

Hiakus are kind of fun—5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables.

A cowboy saddles up
for a sunset river ride.
Orange colored the sky.

Everywhere you look
inspiration can be found.
Just pay attention.

Strangers meet one day—
slow kisses and open hearts
Forever in love.

Sonnets are familiar to many people through Shakespeare’s work. They’re very challenging to write, but I’ve given it a shot now and again. I’m definitely more comfortable writing free form though. So is Brett Taylor and he prefers to add his own country twang.

There just might be a new song or two in Unbroken Hearts but I won’t ruin it for you. Instead, here are some of Brett’s lyrics from Unbreak My Heart. Don’t forget about the Rafflecopter draw!

***

Brett’s Lyrics from Unbreak My Heart

Old pickup truck

The bed’s too big
And my heart’s too small
My mind’s gone south
Someone just let me fall
Ain’t no sense in denying
How little I’ve become
No sweet guitar picking
Can bring back the sun

I had the world at my fingertips
The selfish wantings of all men
I thought myself immortal
Stupidly fearless and content
Unaware my body needed more
Than silly objects and praise
And I left my heart behind
Thanklessly wasted in a star-struck haze

Now I’m reaping the benefits
Of all that I gave up
An empty house and lonely mind
And your old pickup truck

This is the part where you scold me
Tell me to grow up and be a man
Take my face between your fingers
And show me who I really am

Maybe you were too good for me
Maybe you were just too kind
Maybe I loved you too hard
Maybe our love was blind

My body aches to touch you
My mind reels with pain
I can’t quite remember how you smell
Or how much you loved the rain

This is the part where you scold me
Tell me to grow up and be a man
Take my face between your fingers
And show me who I really am

This is the part…
The part where I bleed
The part where I miss you
The part where I need…
I need you to be here
So you can give me a new start
To show me just how
To unbreak my heart.

***

Picked you over me

This whiskey tastes sour
Like an old lover’s kiss
But it’s all that I have
To make you exist

Because when I’m high as a kite
My heart settles down
You’re back in my arms
And our circle goes round.

I’ve lived my life
Doing just as I pleased
I slept around before you
My want never eased

But then you took that part inside
That had turned stone cold
You stole away my heart
And to you I was sold.

But as the saying goes
You don’t miss what you’ve got
Until you lose everything
Because of the person you’re not

That’s not how love works
It’s not how it should be
I put something else first
Should have picked you over me

***

Broken fences and scattered stones

Crumbling barns and sawdust
Broken fences and scattered stones
Horses with sad faces
Reminders I’ve lost my home

Fancy jeans and expensive boots
Records of silver and gold
Shots of Jack in crystal glasses
But no one to join me in growing old

’Cause a house is just a house
A bed—a slab of stone
One more night is all I want
One more chance to bring you home

If I reach to the sky
Will you grab my hand
Pull me back to you
To your promised land
Just take my hand
And take me along
’Cause there’s no reasons here
For me to keep trying to go on

Hopes and dreams
All left too late to say
Stubborn feelings and selfish ways
Future moments just tossed away

And life just moves so slow
When your heart has turned to dust
Life just burns away
When you lose the only one you could ever trust
But the ache remains
The pain still cuts
There’s no escape
From these hopeless ruts

’Cause a house is just a house
A bed—a slab of stone
One more night is all I want
One more chance to bring you home

But if I wait here long enough
Won’t you please grab my hand
Pull me back to you
Take me to your promised land
Just take my hand
And take me along

’Cause there’s no reasons here
For me to keep trying to go on
Do you miss me where you are?
Do you see the horrible mess I am?
Do you regret the love we had?
Do you wonder why I turned out so….
Turned out so goddamn bad

How can I find the will to live?
When I have nothing left to give
When my heart is broken and my soul’s been sold
When all I have left is your picture to hold

’Cause a house is just a house
A bed—a slab of stone
One more night is all I want
One more chance to bring you home

And if I wait here long enough
Will you please grab my hand
Pull me back to you
Take me to your promised land
Just take my hand
And take me along
’Cause there’s no reasons here
For me to keep trying…
To keep trying to go on

***

A song for the kid….

One hundred miles from Dallas
On a ranch southwest of town
An old heart battered and broken
Was somehow saved and found

They had nothing much in common
A burnt-out musician and a college boy
One from California
And the other Southern as a belle is coy

But an interfering mama
And an old cowboy with a quiet way
Saw fit to toss them together
And the rest is history as they say

Well, the musician he was stubborn,
Determined his heart would never beat again
But the kid was kind and patient
Didn’t give up on what could have been

I was lucky to find true love once
When I was barely that California boy’s age
Self-condemned to toss my heart and soul
Beside my lover in his dark, lonely grave

But now I understand the meaning
Behind it’s better to have loved and lost
Because there’s room in my heart for my beloved departed
And for the new feelings that kid has caused

So it’s with a hopeful heart and willing spirit
I’m begging for a lot more time
Because there’s nothing as important in my life
Than needing that kid to be mine.

And though I don’t believe in marital bliss
Or in ceremonies trumped up for show
If you’ll take my hand I can promise you
I’ll never let you go

I don’t have a whole lot to offer
Someone with so much potential drive
Just a bared-open, battered heart
And an old guitar with a long-ago country vibe

But I can vow to love you
With every inch of my soul
With this bandaged heart
And just one important goal

Please be my partner in life
My friend at my side
The one I turn to during the day
The one I hold at night

I wanna make you feel as loved
As the warmth I have inside
I wanna hold you so close to me
Our hearts beating side by side

I promise to love and honor
And try to see things your way
I promise, Darlin’, to love you
Forever and a day

So please be my partner in life
My friend at my side
The one I turn to during the day
The one I hold at night
’Cause without you
I’m cold I’m shut down and alone
I can’t seem to function
And my heart turns to stone

So please be my partner in life
My friend at my side
The one I turn to during the day
The one I hold at night
I’ll hold back the sun
Or steal the moon from the sky
I’ll sail you round the world
And together we’ll fly

So will you be my partner?
Will you be the love at my side?
Will you be the one I turn to all day?
Will you be the one I hold at night?

I love you, kid, with all my heart
From morning to night, from dusk to dawn
All I need is a chance
For our hearts to become one
Let me show you how much love
You make me feel every day
I’m completely in love with you, Darlin’
So please—
what do ya say?

I hope you enjoy Unbroken Hearts. Now…leave me a comment about poetry and don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaways!

* * * * *

About Unbroken Hearts

~~Country singer turned rancher Brett Taylor fought his way out of the bottle, so he could have JT Campbell in his life.  JT’s patience, intelligence, and humor broke through Brett’s walls of depression, and now the once-isolated rancher and his young California guy in search of himself are together on Brett’s Texas ranch.

While Brett and JT are more in love than ever, they’re still dealing with past baggage and learning how to move forward. Brett’s former lover casts a long shadow over their lives—one JT tries to pretend doesn’t bother him. Can Brett soothe his fears with the sort of sappy, sentimental Valentine’s Day JT was taught to shun growing up—but secretly always wanted?

When Halloween rolls around, a costumed night out at the local bar might lead to another romantic first. And on Christmas morning, JT awakes to some sweet loving and the most meaningful gift he could ever imagine. The New Year truly brings a new beginning—ushered in by some silly, sparkly, and sexy fun.

One year. Four important holidays. Two men who have worked hard for the love and trust they share and the bright future that’s finally within their grasp.~~

* * * * *

* * * * *

About the Author

K-lee Klein loves guys with long hair and tattoos, and you’ll often find her front and center at her favorite rock concerts. She has bounced around Western Canada all her life, but will always consider the solitude and beauty of the British Columbian mountains home. Her life is blessed as the proud mother of three now-grown but still spoiled kids, the servant of two bossy felines, and the wife of a truly patient husband.

Her writing muse is terribly temperamental, so to keep him close by and in check, she had him inked on her left calf. The gorgeous, long-haired, mostly naked, kneeling angel that resulted is truly a work of art, although he’s still a handful and hopelessly uncontrollable. She writes on his schedule and inspiration.

K-lee tends to fall easily into obsessions. When something grabs her attention, she jumps into it headfirst with complete abandon. Actors, musicians, superheroes, fictional characters, and brainwashed assassins all hold spots on her cannot-get-enough list. She once followed Thirty Seconds to Mars around the United States and Canada and saw them perform fourteen times that year. Obsession sometimes leads to ideas for her kneeling angel to turn into stories.

Although an introvert in person, she’s extroverted online and has met many wonderful friends there, sometimes with the added fun of meeting them in person at gay romance conferences. She’s grateful for all the people in her life who accept her as she is and support her through her ups and downs as mom, wife, and joyfully obsessed writer.

Places to find K-lee.

Website – kleeklein.com
Blog – http://chaosinthemoonlight.blogspot.ca
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Klee_Klein
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/kleemoon
Facebook author/reader group https://www.facebook.com/groups/812548795471921/b

Giveaway

Enter the giveaway!  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

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Sean Michael on the Ghostly Twists and Turns of Writing ‘The Supers (The Supers #1)’ (guest blog)

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The Supers (The Supers #1) by Sean Michael
A Dreamspun Beyond Title
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

Release Date: October 15th 2017

Buy links: Dreamspinner PressAmazonBarnes & NobleKobo  

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Sean Michael here today on his tour for his latest story The Supers. Welcome, Sean.

✒︎

 

First off, thank you to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue words for hosting me today!

Every now and then I find myself watching a ghost hunting show, but I never thought I’d be writing a book about ghost hunters! The Supernatural Explorers – The Supers for short – are a band of gay men who go ghost hunting. They’re searching for their big break – they want a TV show of their own.

I wasn’t sure when I started writing this book what the conflict was going to be – I guess you could say that I was doing some ghost hunting of my own! I thought maybe it was going to be the whole trying to get a TV show thing and that their success would be the big finish. True to form, though, these guys who appeared in my head, had their own agenda (or at least the ghosts they were hunting did) and as I wrote, the whole plotline unravelled in front of me and suddenly I had a story that was so much more than just trying to get a show. That’s all I’m going to say, though – I wouldn’t want to spoil anyone.

I had a lot of fun writing the book (even the gross parts) and I hope you enjoy reading it!

Sean Michael
Smut fixes everything

About The Supers

Hunting ghosts and finding more than they bargained for.

Blaine Franks is a member of the paranormal research group the Supernatural Explorers. When the group loses their techie to a cross-country move, newly graduated Flynn Huntington gets the job. Flynn fits in with the guys right off the bat, but when it comes to him and Blaine, it’s more than just getting along.

Things heat up between Blaine and Flynn as they explore their first haunted building together, an abandoned hospital. Their relationship isn’t all that progresses, though, and soon it seems that an odd bite on Blaine’s neck has become much more.

Hitchhiking ghosts, a tragic love story forgotten by time, and the mystery of room 204 round out a romance where the things that go bump in the night are real.

About the Author

Best-selling author Sean Michael is a maple leaf–loving Canadian who spends hours hiding out in used book stores. With far more ideas than time, Sean keeps several documents open at all times. From romance to fantasy, paranormal and sci-fi, Sean is limited only by the need for sleep—and the periodic Beaver Tail.
Sean fantasizes about one day retiring on a secluded island populated entirely by horseshoe crabs after inventing a brain-to-computer dictation system. Until then, Sean will continue to write the old-fashioned way.

Sean Michael on the web:

WEBSITE: http://www.seanmichaelwrites.com
BLOG: http://seanmichaelwrites.blogspot.ca
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/SeanMichaelWrites/
TWITTER: seanmichael09
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/seanmichaelpics/

Review Tour for Amy Aislin’s Picture Winter (giveaway)

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Cover Design: Melody Pond
 
Publisher: MLR Press
 
Length: 47,000 words approx.
 
Blurb
 

Do something new today.


Why he looks at his horoscope every day, Elias Hood doesn’t know. It’s all garbage, and no nickel fortune ever helped him climb all the way up the corporate ladder. He’s about to make Vice President. Rocking the boat with “something new” is the last thing on his mind.


But there’s this guy.


Ty Green can make friends with a tree and Elias can’t help falling for his easy-going vibe and his perfect smile. He’s a fellow Capricorn, like Elias, but that’s as far as their similarities go. Ty works to live–he doesn’t live to work. When Elias takes his horoscope’s advice and asks Ty out, both men are in for a shock. But as Elias’s walls start to come down, they might just realize that they have more in common than they think. In fact, they might even want the exact same thing. 


Who knows? Maybe horoscopes aren’t just trash after all.

 

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review here! We absolutely recommend it!

October 10 – Love Bytes
October 12 – The Novel Approach
October 14 – MM Good Book Reviews
October 17 – Diverse Reader
October 19 – Alpha Book Club

Author Bio

Amy started writing on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class was forced to stay inside for recess. Tales of adventures with her classmates quickly morphed into tales of adventures with the characters in her head. Based in the suburbs of Toronto, Amy is a marketer at a large environmental non-profit in Toronto by day, and a writer by night. Book enthusiast, animal lover and (very) amateur photographer, Amy’s interests are many and varied, including travelling, astronomy, ecology, and baking.



Amy loves connecting with readers! You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Twitter or sign up for her infrequent newsletter at www.amyaislin.com/signup

Giveaway

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