Fresh Starts and Into April We Go. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Standard

Fresh Starts and into April We Go

Here it is April 1st and I’m full of plans and hopeful for fresh starts as I sip on my coffee as gaze out into the disaster that’s my backyard.  That’s right you heard me, a mess of a backyard. So why so hopeful?  Because now instead of dwelling on that huge old white pine that crashed during that last Nor’easter, taking down fences, crushing gardens and things, I’m looking at planning new ones, planting new storm resistant trees, and having a ball.  I’ve got a clean slate to start over.  Do things differently, better hopefully.  Maybe try new plants that are more in accordance with my changing climate and planting schedule.  Who knows?  It will be fun figuring things out and seeing what my blank slate brings….

Same with reading.  Of my last ten books, most of the the authors have been new to me.  I have liked that.  Not all have sowed roots in my library garden of books.  Some I will gladly return to because I thoroughly enjoyed their stories, others showed promise even though I thought their books more outline than finished product.  I like finding authors with a fresh approach to writing and stories.  I like finding new authors period.  Several of them I will be reviewing this week.  So many of our reviewers are wonderful about bringing new authors to my attention.  I love it when that happens.  There can never be too many books or too many new authors to my mind.

That’s why I’m so happy to announce we are adding a new reviewer here at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.  Please be on the look out for review from Lucy. Here’s an introduction:

Lucy

HI! My name is Lucy and I’ve been an avid reader since I was a kid.  I was the one taking a book everywhere and then missing what I was supposed to be doing.  Still that way, I think.  My iPad is always in my purse and my commute to work as a teacher resource specialist is filled with audiobooks.  I read a variety of works but MM remains my favorite.  I am a big fan of super sweet and gooey and I love novellas and short stories.   I am sort of wimpy when it comes to heavy angst  – reading is my escape.  I live in the Midwest, where we have two seasons – hockey and baseball!

Welcome, Lucy!

**************

And with everything that went on during the last few months that opened up much needed dialog about racism, books featuring POC and change within the publishing community, I would like to think we are moving forward here as well.  A fresh outlook, a fresh perspective on publishing, covers, and even widening our own outlook on books we read, myself included.

 

Several of our readers chimed in with suggestions which I’m including here. I have linked all the story suggestions for you. Plenty of time to get your own suggestions in:

From Steve Wroten:

Thanks, so true about how spring has sprung.
Nice way to bring in spring. Sorry for this long comment, and I don’t know if this is what you had in mind for “What’s New,” but it spurred these thots:
After the previous two weeks of high winds, I took a week off and didn’t respond to last week’s post yet, but wanted to. And this week’s topic is a nice segue. I had previously given my thots in your Mar 11 post; and just wanted to say I appreciate your keeping that, while some other bloggers deleted my similar posts. I think it’s improving that we can talk about these issues. As another example, I think I see increased representation of people of color, and I thought I’d suggest some recent books I found to be good stories:
A Love Like Blood, by Victor Yates (powerful YA that won Lambda debut novel)
Nobody’s Son, by Shae Connor (two strong black leading men)
Asylum, by Robert Winter (just finished ARC, about illegal immigrant from El Salvador finding love)
Cut Hand series, by Mark Wildyr (nice Native American perspective)
Southernmost Murder, by C.S. Poe (I’m becoming a fan of Poe – Asian FBI agent helps soon-to-be boyfriend with a cozy mystery)

From jen:

I think there are more books with diverse characters – sexuality, ethnicity, culture etc. And I hope that trend continues, both because these types of stories are needed and because I like them. 🙂 Some of my recs from recent reads are:
Wildflowers by Suki Fleet (the love interest is mute & middle-eastern)
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (audiobook) by Mackenzi Lee (historical adventure/love story with a theme about race, class & a person’s “worth”; plus awesome narration)
Throwing Stones (Glasgow Lads on Ice #1) by Avery Cockburn (One of the MCs is demi-sexual, the other one has ADHD and there is curling)
The Long Past & Other Stories by Ginn Hale (Cool steampunk AU with an ex-slave MC & the love interest is an amputee plus there is magic)
I second the rec for Southernmost Murder by C.S. Poe.

Soooooo……

What new things have you all noticed, if anything?  New issues that the authors have incorporated?  New ways in which they’ve kept it real (if contemporary) and fresh (no matter the genre).  So this is the start of ….

What’s New In LGBT Romance Fiction Giveaway?

Give us your thoughts.  Maybe tell us ways in which you think it can be improved or that it has improved over the last few years.  What stories have made you think?  Stopped you with elements so current and relevant that it resonated with you?  Leave your comments with you email address.  Giveaway will continue until April 14th.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

 

Meanwhile, happy April, happy Eostre or Easter, whatever you may celebrate.  Spring is here and with it new beginnings.  Let’s celebrate that. I’m a true gardener and forever hopeful and yet pragmatic.  Garden catalogs and new stories await me.  What’s waiting for you?  Have a wonderful week.  Here’s what’s ahead for you here at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

 

Sunday, April 1:

  • A Free Read Alert from Jay Northcote ~ International Transgender Day of Visibility and Starting from Scratch
  • Fresh Starts and Into April We Go. This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Monday, April 2:

  • Harmony Promo Julie Aitcheson on First Girl
  • BLITZ Bank Run by Alli Reshi
  • Release Blitz – Garrett Leigh – Soul To Keep (RH #2)
  • A Caryn Review: The Moth and Moon by Glenn Quigley
  • A Lila Review: Promise Me We’ll Be Okay by Nell Iris
  • A MelanieM PreRelease Review: Magic Runs Deep by Alex Whitehall

Tuesday, April 3:

  • BLITZ On a Summer Night by Gabriel D. Vidrine
  • BLOG TOUR Nobody’s Prince Charming by Aimee Nicole Walker
  • Eyes Wide Open by V.M. Sanford Blog Tour
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: No Tears for Darcy by Vicki Reese
  • An Alisa Release Day Review: Kiss Me Forever by M.J. O’Shea
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review:  Sweet Nothings (Amuse Bouche #1) by T. Neilson

Wednesday, April 4:

  • Release Blitz: Midnight Twist by Rian Durant
  • TOUR Tested in Fire (Art Medium #2) by EJ Russell
  • A Caryn Review: Tested in Fire (Art Medium #2) by EJ Russell
  • A MelanieM Release Day Review: Vice Enforcer (Vice City #2) by S.A. Stovall
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review:  The Ballerino and the Biker (The Hedonist #1) by Rebecca James

Thursday, April 5:

  • BLOG TOUR Syncopation by Anna Zabo
  • DSP Dreamspun Promo T. Neilson on Sweet Nothings
  • RELEASE BLITZ for Omega Shadow (Book 3 of the Pine Creek Lake Den series) by Quinn Michaels
  • A Stella Review :Wheels and Heels (Stories from the Hen and Hog #1) by Jaime Samms
  • An Alisa Review: Kept in the Dark by H.L Day
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Heart Unheard (Hearts Entwined #2) by Andrew Grey and Greg Tremblay ((Narrator)

Friday, April 6:

  • DSP Publications Promo S.A. Stovall on Vice Enforcer
  • Inked in Vegas by K.M. Neuhold Release Blitz and Giveaway
  • Release Blitz and Giveaway for Captain Merric by Rebecca Cohen
  • A Jeri Release Day Review: Roses in the Devil’s Garden (Fallen Rose #1) by Charlie Cochet
  • A Stella Review: The Little Library by Kim Fielding
  • A Lila Release Day Review: Roses in the Devil’s Garden (Fallen Rose #1) by Charlie Cochet

Saturday, April 7:

  • Austin by Felice Stevens Release Day Blitz
  • Campus Life by TC Orton Blog Tour
  • A MelanieM Review: Murder Takes the High Road by Josh Lanyon

 

 

 

 

 

A Free Read Alert from Jay Northcote ~ International Transgender Day of Visibility and Starting from Scratch

Standard

Free read alert

International Transgender Day of Visibility: Why Visibility Matters (and a free read from me this weekend)

Today is International Transgender Day of Visibility. It is a day for celebrating transgender people, raising awareness, and showing support for the trans community.

photo_83816_20170124

What is visibility and why does it matter?

Visibility is defined in the Oxford Dictionary as: The state of being seen.

I’m speaking from a deeply personal perspective when I say that visibility and representation is enormously important. As a child of the 1970s, I grew up in the day before the Internet and social media. As a child, teen, and young adult I never saw anyone like me represented in the media.

eye-1173863_640

Therefore despite knowing as a child that I didn’t feel like a girl, I didn’t understand that this was something other people felt. I didn’t know there was a word for what I was, and I didn’t know that there was anything I could do about it. The only transgender representation I ever saw in the media was of trans women. Therefore it never occurred to me that it was possible for someone to be FTM (female to male) transgender.

It wasn’t until I ‘saw’ a male transgender character in a fanfiction story that I finally started to make sense of the underlying feeling of unease and wrongness that had been my constant companion throughout my life.

Visibility matters, because it helps transgender people work out who they are, and know that they are not alone. And of course visibility also helps cisgender people to understand trans people better, and know how to be good allies.

Visibility isn’t just about individuals

Visibility isn’t all about individual trans people sharing their stories. Advocates are important and do a huge amount for raising awareness. But it’s important to remember that many trans people don’t want to be visible in that way. They may value their privacy and not wish disclose their history, or they may not live in a place or a situation where it would be safe for them to do so.

Visibility is also about positive representations in the media, in art, in books, in movies, and TV shows. In the queer romance genre, we’re seeing a huge increase in the number of books featuring transgender characters, this is a wonderful thing. Keep them coming!

If you would like to know more about trans issues this link is a good starting point:

https://www.glaad.org/transgender/transfaq

If you’re questioning your own gender, you are not alone. Reach out, there are lots of people who will be willing to listen and help you find the resources and information that you need.

If you’d like to read a story with a transgender main character, my book, Starting from Scratch is free to download at Amazon this weekend. It’s part of a linked series but it can be read as a standalone because there are new main characters in each story.

startingfromscratch

 

Starting over isn’t easy, but Ben is ready to live his life as the man he was always meant to be.

Ben is transgender and back at university after hormone treatment and chest surgery. His new housemates have no idea about his history and Ben would prefer to keep it that way. He’s starting from scratch and his life is finally on track, except in the romance department. The idea of dating guys as a guy is exhilarating but terrifying, because if Ben wants a boyfriend he’ll have to disclose his secret.

Sid is drawn to Ben from the moment they meet. He normally gets what he wants—in the short term at least. Ben’s guarded at first, and Sid’s not used to guys rejecting his advances. He eventually charms his way through Ben’s defences and helps Ben on his journey of sexual awakening.

It doesn’t matter to Sid that Ben is trans. He’s attracted to the whole person, and isn’t worried about what is—or isn’t—in Ben’s pants. They’re good together, and both of them are falling hard and fast, but Ben’s insecurities keep getting in the way. If Sid can convince Ben he’s committed, will Ben finally be able to put his heart on the line?

Although this book is part of the Housemates series, it has new main characters, a satisfying happy ending, and can be read as a standalone.

Length: 57,000 words approx.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06Y3YVY82

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06Y3YVY82

http://mybook.to/SFS_JayN