Logan Meredith on Writing, Stories, and her new release Crossroads (author interview)

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Crossroads (States of Love) by Logan Meredith
Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht
Pre-Order Links: DSP
ǁ Amazon ǁ Barnes&Noble

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Logan Meredith here today talking about writing, stories, and her latest release Crossroads, a States of Love story from Dreamspinner Press. Welcome, Logan.

✒︎

 

Hello and thanks to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for allowing me a chance to talk about my latest book, Crossroads.  Crossroads is the newest release in the States of Love series by Dreamspinners Press.  I’ve loved this series and am so pleased to be contributing the Indiana installment. 

Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

Research absolutely plays a role in my writing.  I love to write real contemporary characters from various walks of life, races, religions, etc.  My most researched character was Asim Bishara, a Muslim firefighter whose first love dies in 9/11 in Expanded Hearts.  I learned so much about asexuality while writing Crossroads.

Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?

Yes, actually Crossroads was one such project. I usually start with a very well thought out primary character and then create his perfect love as the story evolves.  In Crossroads Ethan was my principal character which is why the story starts with him, but as soon as Marcus came into being, he took over.  I set it aside because while Ethan was very determined and stable, Marcus was just hopelessly lost.  It took me several breaks to get Marcus his happy ending.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

Definitely Happily Ever After.  I don’t like reading books where I feel like the story isn’t complete.  It’s hard because the story timeline sometimes doesn’t give you a chance to wrap everything all neatly together.  I will usually add an epilogue to ensure all the bows are tied for my reader.

With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away?  To move past?  To wide our knowledge?  Why do you write?

I write because I hear voices.  It’s sad but true.  My characters will literally harass me until I get their stories down. 

 

What’s next for you as a writer?

I just finished a new novel about an older man who falls in love with a gay porn star.  My other WIP is Troy’s story from the Heartland Series.

About the Book

Release Date: January 5, 2018
Blurb
Despite the best-laid plans, life sometimes has other ideas.

Ethan Yoder has toiled to escape his small-minded farming community, and he’s finally earned his degree and made it to Indianapolis—where he lands a job at a pharmaceutical company and meets handsome and successful Marcus. Marcus introduces Ethan to the fun-filled life of his dreams—fancy dinners, courtside seats at NBA games, even a trip to the Indianapolis 500. But Marcus’s happy-go-lucky veneer hides a man frustrated with a job he hates and his failure at romance due to factors he’s only beginning to understand. Ethan still has his eyes on the prize—a lucrative career—and he must figure out how to hold on to one opportunity without letting another slip away. If he and Marcus can come to a deeper understanding, their road might lead to a happily ever after. 

States of Love: Stories of love that span every corner of the United States.

About the Author

Logan Meredith began writing as a teenager when beautiful boys started keeping her company at night. Unfortunately, the voices she heard were imaginary, and their conversations resulted in horrible insomnia. They only let her sleep when she started to type their words down. Thankfully, being awkward as hell and a head taller than anyone else in the school afforded plenty of spare time for writing.

At first she tried to make them play with characters from her favorite television series or books. She found her lost tribe with a ravenous, crazy group of fan-fiction lovers online and started sharing her stories publicly. Then something amazing happened—new characters arrived and demanded their own stories. Only they wanted their own world to play in and they wanted to find their true loves. So, between her day job and making time for her family, she tries to keep up with the demands from her beautiful men for their happily ever afters.

A native of San Antonio, Texas, and a graduate of the University of Texas-San Antonio, Logan is an accomplished cross-country mover, having honed her skills bouncing between five states. She currently resides in Houston, Texas. In addition to writing, she spends her time reading and rereading her favorite books, cheering for the San Antonio Spurs, playing Words with Friends, and procrastinating pretty much everything else.

Logan is a proud member of the LGBTQA community and vocal advocate for mental health awareness, suicide prevention, and equality campaigns.

Logan welcomes the chance to interact with readers.

Twitter:@LL_Meredith

Email:loganmeredith2015@gmail.com

A Jeri Release Day Review: Bleu Balls (Balls to the Wall #7) by Tara Lain

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

I was looking forward to this book. Bobby and Robin aka “Double Trouble” have been fun background characters in several of the books in this series. Twin brothers equals twice the fun, romance and sex right? Not so much.
When Robin and Bobby are in the running to paint a huge mural in an office, they really want the job. But one of the men has an instant disliking for Robin and insists that Bobby do the painting. This bugged me, because that is so utterly unrealistic. And then they agree to it and assume the 3rd grade tactic of taking each other’s places. Just silly.
Enter Micah- the son of their doctor who is taking over the practice. More confusion ensues as to who he is really attracted to and what he should do about it. Well, he just won’t be their doctor anymore! Simple! Again, just silly.
The charade of the brothers pretending to be each other were just a little too much. Because of that I didn’t feel like the romance between either couple was genuine.
As with the others, there are lots of appearances by previous book couples which is always nice. Much like the book. It was just….nice. I was hoping for and expecting a bit more.
Cover Art by Reese Dante is adorable and works for both the story and series.
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon
Book Details:
Expected publication: January 9th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesBalls to the Wall #7, Balls to the Walls (DSP) #7

A Lila Release Day Review: Southernmost Murder by C.S. Poe

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Aubrey Grant lives in the tropical paradise of Old Town, Key West, has a cute cottage, a sweet moped, and a great job managing the historical property of a former sea captain. With his soon-to-be-boyfriend, hotshot FBI agent Jun Tanaka, visiting for a little R&R, not even Aubrey’s narcolepsy can put a damper on their vacation plans.

But a skeleton in a closet of the Smith Family Historical Home throws a wrench into the works. Despite Aubrey and Jun’s attempts to enjoy some time together, the skeleton’s identity drags them into a mystery with origins over a century in the past. They uncover a tale of long-lost treasure, the pirate king it belonged to, and a modern-day murderer who will stop at nothing to find the hidden riches. If a killer on the loose isn’t enough to keep Aubrey out of the mess, it seems even the restless spirit of Captain Smith is warning him away.

The unlikely partnership of a special agent and historian may be exactly what it takes to crack this mystery wide-open and finally put an old Key West tragedy to rest. But while Aubrey tracks down the X that marks the spot, one wrong move could be his last.

Southernmost Murder is a perfect mix of mystery, quirky characters, and romance. I was captivated by Aubrey since the very beginning. I remember him from the Snow and Winter series, just like Jun, and I’m glad the author took the time to give these two their own story. It’s not necessary to read the other two books though.

I loved how Aubrey’s narcolepsy was part of him and not a prompt to make him more interesting or create conflict. It’s an integral part of the story and it’s relevant to the plot and the relationship. We get to know all the characters through their actions and each of them had their personalities and backstories.

The book has a solid ‘whodunnit’ plot with many twists and turns. Yes, Aubrey makes several dumb decisions during the story but those don’t take from it. I enjoyed the way the author brings the reader into the setting and the different locations. Together with all the historical facts, items, and side characters.

I was pleasantly surprised to see the romance arc take a central part of the story. Jun’s and Aubrey’s chemistry was intense but their friendship really added to it. I wish we could have seen them together during their courtship, but we get little glances of it. Jun’s POV would have been nice too. The secondary romance is heartbreaking.

Overall, this is a great mystery and love story. I hope to see more about these two and some of the other characters. Perhaps the detective? Adam?

The cover by Reese Dante shows Aubrey and Jun together with some of the elements of the story.

Sale Links: DSPAmazon | NOOK

ebook, 200 pages
Published: January 9, 2018, by DSP Publications
ISBN: 9781640800779
Edition Language: English

A MelanieM Review: Bring Me the Dead by Becky Black

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

 

A million years, ago a galactic empire fell. That ancient empire is a source of many things. Wonder, knowledge, academic careers, and treasure. Treasure is what Beau Johnson seeks, tracking down artifacts for high-paying clients. Once a top student at the specialist institute for the study of the ancient empire, Beau rejected respectable archaeology and academia in favor of adventure.

Unlike his one-time rival Park Ki-tae, a brilliant student who became an enforcement agent tasked with keeping Imperial artifacts out of private collections. Beau thinks Ki-tae needs to loosen up, have more fun, and stop making it his life’s work to send Beau to jail. Ki-tae thinks Beau is a rogue and a criminal, and that it was a big mistake to sleep with him that one time…

When a client sends Beau after a legendary artifact that allows communication with the dead, Ki-tae pursues, sure that this time he’ll nail Beau. But circumstances force them to work together and deal with the feelings for each other they’ve both long denied. They have very different plans for the artifact they’re seeking–if it’s not a myth. Will they ever agree on their plans, or on anything else at all?

Bring Me the Dead by Becky Black sort of slides along that line between like and love.  There’s quite a lot that’s almost on the love side.  From the plot line to many of the characters but the total package and yes, execution just keeps it shy of the mark.

I love science fiction and here you have a group of treasure hunters after a mythological artifact and an galactic enforcement agent with a fierce resolve to ensure that artifact, if found, isn’t sold to the highest bidder as well as a certain hunter goes to jail.  Sound familiar?  And yes, they have a past together.  Black takes it further making them competitors/advisories since college where Beau Johnson always came out on top.  A nice twist that works to explain Ki-tae’s obsession with Johnson and his crew.

Black’s characters were a mixture.  While I thought Park Ki-tae, the enforcement agent, was strong, that of Beau Johnson had some major flaws, especially of someone of his renown. Supposedly the best at what he does, he was sloppy, under informed, ill-prepared etc. In other words, just not believable.  And that took away much of the ability to connect to the storyline. One or three of his crew were really nice characters, with enough quirks to stand on their own but for a band of superb outlaws at the top of the game? Never in a million years.

Other elements saved the story.  The places visited along the hunt for the artifact had rings of what might pass as authenticity in the future.  Most of the hard, narrative lifting here is done by Park, with Beau and crew chiming in.  But it was the most interesting part of this  story and the one I connected with.  King, their boss, and his android wife, were a nifty aspect of the tale.

The romance between Beau and Park  again seem undermined by the fact that Beau came off as less substantial, less believable than Park.  He’s supposed to be this huge deal yet falls so far short in the story that you wonder why Park is pursuing him.

There’s a HFN ending, which makes you wonder if the author intends this to be the first in a series.  There’s still so many loose plots threads dangling around t make a reader feel a bit unsatisfied even if the original hunt has come to an end.

If you are a lover of science fiction and want a quick read, you might want to investigate the hunt for a galactic artifact in Bring Me the Dead by Becky Black.

Cover art by April Martinez is on point with the characters and storyline.

Sales Links: Loose id | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Published October 31st 2017 by Loose Id
Original TitleBring Me the Dead
ISBN139781682524367
Edition LanguageEnglish
URLhttps://beckyblack.wordpress.com/bookshelf/standalone-novels-and-novellas/bring-me-the-dead/

Z. Allora on Locations, Writing, and her release The Great Wall (Made In China Book 1) by Z. Allora

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The Great Wall (Made In China Book 1) by Z. Allora
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: PL Nunn

Buy Links :  Dreamspinner Press ebookpaper  

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Z. Allora here today talking about China, writing and The Great Wall. Welcome, Z.

✒︎

 

 

Greetings! I want to thank Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for the opportunity to share a little bit about me, China and my new release The Great Wall. To celebrate I’ll be doing a giveaway: 3 e-books of Secured and Free, 5 e-books of Finally Fallen and a $20 gift card to Dreamspinner. (Details about the giveaway are below.)

 ~ Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Z. Allora ~

Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

I have done both.

In The Great Wall, I share the experiences I had while living in China. It was silly but while I was in edits for this story I got quite homesick for Suzhou. Let me share with you some of the locations Styx and Jin’s story takes place in.

Locations:

Yintang: This is Styx and Jin’s hometown and where I spent a good deal with time. Yintang is not modern, like Shanghai. It has one big shopping center, numerous tiny shops and countless stalls. While I was there they still advertised community TVs because not everyone has their own. Access to the Internet was spotty at best, if you could afford it. Spending some much time here I understood how closeted Styx would be. Gay wasn’t even a possibility in the world of Yintang. The town also helped me understand how Jin needed to leave, and how his work in massage spas helped give him hints that the rest of the world might be different than Yintang.

Suzhou: The band lives in my apartment. (Yes, we were crazy enough to buy there. BTW: When you buy an apartment in China you buy a shell with concrete walls and only a few rooms walled out, pipes, windows and a dirt/cement floor. You need to design and contract everything else. Toilets, sinks, ceiling, walls are added along with walls, appliances, paint, flooring, etc.)

Suzhou is where I spent most of my time while I was living there. So, I know where the farmer’s market is and I know how expensive the Japanese market in comparison. I used to go to the German Restaurant across the street from our apartment weekly. I sat in the pavilion Jin does his Gong Chi in. I would meander through one or more of the eighteen gardens of Suzhou, at least two or three times a week. I even attended a wedding.

Beijing: I rode the night train to Beijing. It’s like trying to sleep during a slow extended earthquake. I was driven down the pothole ridden road to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall (I was bounced so high out of my seat I actually hit my head on the ceiling of the van). The band goes to some of the attractions I visited while touring Beijing.

One of their band members Indigo is from L.A. so he’s the shocked version of me going WTF? Why can’t I get hot water, Internet & cable on the same day? What do you mean they don’t take credit cards? What do you mean there is no LGBTQIA community here?

Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?

I wrote The Great Wall while I was living in China. Suzhou’s closet is so deep I didn’t find the only gay friendly club until I had been there for five years. Since I only write happily ever afters I’m not going to lie I struggled trying to find out a way to happiness with The Great Wall that was realistic.  Living there altered the potential and possibilities I saw because the limitations were intense.

An American reader might see the path to their HEA without difficulty but I’ll tell you I sat in my (their) my apartment for hours (crying) unable to plot their happy ending. All my friends who were Chinese married regardless of their orientation and would readily tell me there was no gay in China… that was a Western concept. I racked my brain for several months trying to find a path forward that would be true and possible in Suzhou.

I’m thrilled to report I found a way to give a satisfying happily ever after that would be realistic outcome to Jin and Styx so they could have their true happily ever after.

What’s next for you as an author?

I’m working on Club Zombie #3. It’s contains the original scene that blossomed into the sexy zombie plot bunny that evolved into the Club Zombie series. I had to write the first two books to get to the scene that started it all but finally made it to this point!

Then before there was Yuri On Ice there was a YouTube video two of my friends showed me. So, I’ll be working that delicious plot bunny. (A skater and a hot rocker…) I’ve been taking notes on this story for about two and a half years.

And by June, I hope readers will join me for another visit to China.

 With so much going on in the world today, do you write to explain?  To get away?  To move past?  To widened our knowledge?  Why do you write?

 I write to promote equality. I truly believe we can change hearts and minds with every page we turn/write. I’m grateful readers allow me to share my stories with them.

The Great Wall Blurb:

Destiny will be decided by a battle between heart and mind….

Jun Tai “Styx” Wong loves two things: playing the drums and his best friend, Jin. But being a good Chinese son means he can’t have either—he’ll have to marry a girl of his parents’ choosing and settle into a traditional job. His move to the bigger city of Suzhou is both a blessing and curse, as living with Jin makes it harder for Styx to suppress his desires. Nearly dying while trying to eradicate his feelings serves as a wake-up call for Jin, who takes extreme measures to keep Styx safe from harm.

When given a second chance at life and happiness, will Styx be able to claim the future he wants with Jin, his bandmates, and his music? Can love and hope grow with the constantly looming threat of Styx’s parents ordering him home? Great things await—if Styx finds the courage to break down the wall that stands between him and everything he wants.

Giveaway

To Enter The Giveaway: Leave a comment sharing why you read (or write). The winner will be picked Jan 19, 2018.

Many hugs, Z.

About the Author

Z. Allora believes in happily ever afters for everyone. She met her own true love through the personals and has traveled to over thirty countries with him. She’s lived in Singapore, Israel and China. Now back home to the USA she’s an active member of PFLAG and a strong supporter of those on the rainbow in her community. She wants to promote understanding and acceptance through her actions and words. Writing rainbow romance allows her the opportunity to open hearts and change minds.

To contact Z. Allora:

E-mail: Z.AlloraHappyEndings@gmail.com

FACEBOOK:   Z Allora Allora

Website: www.zallorabooks.com

Twitter: @ZAllora

Blog: http://zallora.blogspot.com

Queer Romance Ink: http://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/z-allora

Release Blitz and Giveaway for Lost In Time by A.L. Lester

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Buy Links: JMS Books | Amazon US | Amazon UK


Cover Design: JM Snyder


Publisher: JMS Books


Length: 54,000 words approx.


The Gate (a FREE short story introducing the characters from Lost In Time) 
Amazon US | Amazon US | JMS Books


Blurb

Lew’s life is pleasantly boring until his friend Mira messes with magic she doesn’t understand. While searching for her, he is pulled back in time to 1919 by a catastrophic magical accident. As he tries to navigate a strange time and find his friend in the smoky music clubs of Soho, the last thing he needs is Detective Alec Carter suspecting him of murder.


London in 1919 is cold, wet, and tired from four years of war. Alec is back in the Metropolitan Police after slogging out his army service on the Western Front. Falling for a suspect in a gruesome murder case is not on his agenda, however attractive he finds the other man.


They are both floundering and out of their depth, struggling to come to terms with feelings they didn’t ask for and didn’t expect. Both have secrets that could get them arrested or killed. In the middle of a murder investigation that involves wild magic, mysterious creatures, and illegal sexual desire, who is safe to trust?






Author Bio

A. L. Lester likes to read. Her favorite books are post-apocalyptic dystopian romances full of suspense, but a cornflake packet will do there’s nothing else available. The gender of the characters she likes to read (and write) is pretty irrelevant so long as they are strong, interesting people on a journey of some kind.


She has a chaotic family life and small children, and she has become the person in the village who looks after the random animals people find in the road. She is interested in permaculture gardening and anything to do with books, reading, technology and history. She lives in a small village in rural Somerset and is seriously allergic to both rabbits and Minecraft.



Website: http://www.allester.co.uk/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CogentHippo
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ALLesterAuthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cogenthippo/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/A.-L.-Lester/e/B01MZ6R1QR/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/allester

Giveaway

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