A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Survivor (Survivor #1) by T.M. Smith

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

When Taylor Langford is thirteen, his world is turned upside down by the murder of his parents. The only reason he wasn’t killed was because his mother shoved him into a crawlspace in the attic and told him not to come out unless she came for him. But the man who ultimately found him, rookie cop Frank Moore, becomes the most important person in Taylor’s life from that day forward.

This is an absolutely wonderful May to December, very slow burn MM romance, with engaging characters, an exciting plot, and a terrific narration. That’s win-win in my book! Frank and Taylor have a bit over ten years age difference, or at least that was my impression from the audiobook, and Frank never puts the move on Taylor, even when he slowly realizes what he feels for the young man is more than friendship. In fact, neither man alerts the other about their feelings that develop long after Taylor has passed puberty and high school and is finishing college. Taylor knew from a young age that Frank was his ideal man in every way, and as he aged those feelings only became stronger.

But it’s not until it’s so evident to their friends and extended family members—Taylor’s foster parents and Frank’s partner and his wife—that Frank finally decides to tell Taylor how he feels. That occurs at Taylor’s graduate degree graduation party, and by the time it happens, readers like me are rooting for this couple. Both characters are really well-developed and three dimensional—people I’d love to know in real life.  The fact that the murderer is back after a ten-year absence and wants Taylor dead only adds to the excitement of this story.

Nick J. Russo did a wonderful job with the narration, providing a variety of voices, both male and female—each distinct and easy to recognize. That definitely made the audio experience worthwhile.

I definitely recommend this story to lovers of age gap MM romance and most definitely recommend it in audio format.

The cover depicts a handsome young dark-haired man sitting against a colorful background done as an abstract painting with the Seattle Space Needle in the background, representing the locale of the story. Very colorful and attention-getting.

Sales Links:

Book Details:

ebook
Published August 28th 2017 (first published 2017)
Original TitleSurvivor
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesSurvivor #1

An Alisa Audiobook Review: Kairos by Mary Calmes and Michael Fell (Narrator)

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Sometimes the best day of your life is the one you never saw coming.

Joe Cohen has devoted the past two years of his life to one thing: the care and feeding of Kade Bosa. His partner in their PI business, roommate, and best friend, Kade is everything to Joe, even if their relationship falls short of what Joe desires most. But he won’t push. Kade has suffered a rough road, and Joe’s pretty sure he’s the only thing holding Kade together.

Estranged from his own family, Joe knows the value of desperately holding on to someone dear, but he never expected his present and past to collide just as Kade’s is doing the same. Now they’ve stumbled across evidence that could change their lives: the impact of Kade’s tragic past, their job partnership, and any future Joe might allow himself to wish for….

This was a nice heartwarming story. Kade pushes Joe to talk to his family, going as far as getting them close to his hometown when they need to go away from their home for a bit.

Joe can’t see that Kade greatly cares for him just as much as he does for him but it was easy to see while hearing the story from Joe’s perspective.  Kade is a broken man but Joe has been a big help in holding him together and when Joe’s mom decides to keep him it’s just the additional reassurance he needs.  The story was focused more on Joe and Kade figuring their way around more than the conflict of Kade’s past.

Michael Fell did a nice job narrating this story.  The voices for the most part the different voices he used help keep track of the story but he sometimes changes the accents up or said the words differently that would confuse me for a second.

Cover art by Reese Dante is great and I loved the visuals of the characters.

Sales Links:  Audible | Amazon |  iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audiobook, 5hrs 10mins
Published March 16, 2018 (ebook first published December 15, 2017) by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English

An Ali Audiobook Review: Rank & File (Anchor Point #4) by L.A. Witt and Nick J. Russo (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 out 5 stars

Senior Chief Will Curtis is as straitlaced as they come. While his fellow Sailors have partied their way through their enlistments, he’s had his eye on the prize—making master chief and retiring after thirty years of service.

Lieutenant Brent Jameson is a Navy brat turned Annapolis grad. He’s lived and breathed the military his whole life, and he knows he’s destined for great things—once he’s done paying his dues at the bottom of the ladder.

When their paths cross, both men know better than to give in to temptation, but that doesn’t stop them. It also doesn’t keep them from coming back for more, even though being discovered would sink their careers. Something has to give—Will can retire, Brent can resign, or they’ll both face court-martial.

But there’s also the option neither wants to acknowledge: jump ship and walk away from each other instead of ending their careers over a fledgling relationship. And they should probably decide before they fall in love.

This story starts off with a bang.  Will and Brent meet in regards to a domestic violence call on their military base.  They never expect to see each other again but fate has a different idea.  They meet up again under different circumstances and neither can deny the chemistry between them is off the charts.  They decide to begin a friends with benefits type relationship.  While DADT is a thing of the past, the no fraternization of officers and enlisted men is still very much in affect.  Both men know that they are risking a lot by seeing each other.  They could both lose their jobs and be forced out of the service.  Despite the dangers of being together the men can’t seem to stay away from each other.  What starts as lust soon turns to love and they find themselves in a  complicated situation.  It seems they’re going to have to pick between their careers and their love for each other.
I thought this book was an enjoyable installment to this series. It has the age gap and military issues that many of this author’s books do. Somhow she’s able to take the same general formula and make each one seem unique.  This was just the right combo of plot and smexy times. These two were great together and I was really glad to see how things worked out for them at the end.  This book is the fourth one in the Anchor Point series but it is fine as a standalone.
The narration of the audiobook was done by Nick J. Russo and I thought he did a very good job on both Will and Brent’s voices as well as the side characters.  This narrator is one I find to be consistently good and I also enjoy his work.
Cover:  The cover is done by L.C. Chase and I think it’s fantastic.  I love all of the covers for this series.  They stand out and you know immediately upon seeing them that they are part of this series.
Audiobook Details:
Audible Audio, Unabridged, 7 pages
Published March 9th 2018 by Riptide Publishing (first published September 25th 2017)
Original TitleRank & File (Anchor Point, #4)
ASINB07BB1QTCT
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesAnchor Point #4

An Ali Audiobook Review: Watching and Wanting (Housemates #4) by Jay Northcote and Lewis Carter (Narrator)

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Watching Jude’s cam show stirs desires Shawn’s always denied…

Shawn is adrift. Recently graduated, he’s stuck in a dead-end job that barely pays the bills. His girlfriend dumped him, his friends have moved on, and he’s still in Plymouth—going nowhere.

Jude is a student living in the same shared house. Out and proud, he’s everything Shawn’s been running from since he hit puberty. When Shawn discovers Jude works as a cam boy, he can’t resist the urge to watch one of his shows. It makes Shawn want things that scare him, yet his fascination forces him to confront his attraction.

Keen to explore his bicurious side, Shawn suggests they do a show together. Jude agrees, and things get complicated—and kinky—fast. But Jude isn’t looking to get involved with someone so deep in the closet. If Shawn’s going to get what he wants, he needs to find the courage to stop hiding from himself and be honest about who he is.

I thought this was a great installation to this series.  It drew me right in from the very beginning and kept me engaged the entire time.  I wasn’t sure about this book when I started it because I haven’t been a big fan of Shawn’s in the previous books.  He was a jerk and I wasn’t sure I would like him as a MC.  I ended up but liking him though and I really loved Jude’s character.
There is an interesting plot full of feelz so this is not only erotica but man this book is scorchingly hot.  I kept double checking my ear buds to make sure they were working.  (I didn’t want to scandalize my coworkers)
This story is narrated by Lewis Carter and I loved his narration.  I thought it was excellent.  It added to the emotional impact of the story as well as made the smexy times even hotter.  I have not listened to this narrator before and perhaps he’s new?  Nothing else is listed by him on Audible.  I will definitely be on the lookout for his work in the future though.
Overall this was a great read/listen for me and this is an audiobook I highly recommend.  Although this is the fourth book in the series, it works fine as a standalone.  You will see characters from the previous books but this story in independent of the previous ones.
Cover:  I thought this was a great cover.  It looks great and it matches with the rest of the covers in this series in a cohesive manner.
5 hrs and 17 mins
Audiobook Details:
Audible Audio, 5 pages
Published April 26th 2018 by Jaybird Press (first published January 20th 2017)
Original TitleWatching and Wanting
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesHousemates #4 settingPlymouth, England (United Kingdom)
England

Andrew Demcak on Writing, Influences, and his new release ‘Alpha Wave (The Elusive Spark #2)’ by Andrew Demcak

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Alpha Wave (The Elusive Spark #2) by Andrew Demcak
Harmony Ink Press
Cover Artist: AngstyG

Release Date: May 15, 2018

Sales Link:  Harmony Ink Press

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Andrew Demcak here today. Welcome, Andrew, and thank you for answering our author questions!

 

✒︎

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with Andrew Demcak

How much of yourself goes into a character?  65% me, plus 35% filler (sawdust and peanut butter).

Do you feel there’s a tight line between Mary Sue or should I say Gary Stu and using your own experiences to create a character? All the characters I write are me, which is weird because I write about talking rats, aliens, demons, ghosts, bisexual teenage girls – all of which are not the 49-year-old QWM me.

Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Not really in terms of the genre, but I always do some research with everything I write.

Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures? I like doing both. I have a very active imagination, I keep thinking I’ll be attacked by mountain lions on my morning runs, but I love to ground a tale in reality,  and reality needs facts and vocabularies.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why? I love HEA because it doesn’t exist. Every literary HEA is a HFN because the story does end – it must.

Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  Now and growing up? I love Anne Sexton, William S. Burroughs, and William H. Gass. I also adore Shirley Jackson and Flannery O’Connor. When I was younger it was all about Gertrude Stein’s novels.

How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going? I love eBooks! They exemplify economy of time and money (for the reader.)

How do you choose your covers?  (curious on my part) I’m lucky because Harmony Ink Press (my publisher) has a great art department. I’ve been working with AngstyG for the last couple covers. I always imagine how my covers will look and tell the graphic designers what I want. When I get the first few mock-ups, I start seeing them come to life. For instance, the next novel in my Elusive Spark series, Book 3, Darkfeather, is in the editing phase right now at the publisher. The cover I want would feature the “keyhole” branding of the first two novels, an image of James (the lead character) and the image of a sasquatch walking away, seen over his left shoulder. But who knows what it will really look like. But that’s what I want.

Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why? My first true YA/Teen novel, Ghost Songs (Harmony Ink Press.) It’s my thinly veiled 8th grade year, poltergeist and all. I cry every time I read it. It was very tough growing up queer in the 1980s. Very tough.

What’s next for you as an author? I’ve been busy getting my out-of-print books back into print through my own imprint, Big 23 Press, and KDP publishing. I have a New Adult novel out right now, How Do You Deal with a Dead Girl?, which is getting great reviews already. I have a TV pilot I’m writing, and I have a new LGBTQ YA book I’m working on that I’m excited about called Glitter Bear. It’s a romance without any supernatural elements – Erg! Out of my comfort zone!

Have you ever put a story away, thinking it just didn’t work?  Then years/months/whatever later inspiration struck and you loved it?  Is there a title we would recognize if that happened? This sort of happened with a long first chapter I wrote back when I was 19 in the 1980’s. It was for a novel I wanted to write about the Goth music scene in Los Angeles. I had so many friends in bands, The Superheroines, Christian Death, Psi-Com, and I wanted to document that moment in time. I guess I forgot I had started it. Flash forward to 2008. I find this long chapter in a drawer of other writing I’d done. I started reading it and couldn’t put it down. I suddenly knew I had to write this novel. And so I did. It’s called, If There’s a Heaven Above. It went on to be nominated by The American Library Association as an “outstanding” novel for older teens (17+) for its Rainbow Books list. It’s now back in print and available in a 10th anniversary edition.

Blurb

Alpha Wave, The Elusive Spark: Book Two
Keira Fairchild is running for her life, and she won’t make it far without someone watching her back. Her powers helped her elude a slave trader, Holcomb, who planned to sell her to the highest bidder, and the deadly Paragon Academy. But now Keira needs some allies and some answers. Who is the imprisoned alien being who keeps contacting her in her dreams? Keira is aided by a group of teens–James, Lumen, and Paul–with powers like her own, and all of them are ready for a fight. The small group must rescue the captive alien and escape Dr. Albion, who seeks to steal their abilities and eliminate them. Survival will mean a desperate struggle, and none of them can succeed on their own.

About the Author

Andrew Demcak* is an American poet and novelist, the author of four poetry collections and five Young Adult novels. His books have been featured by The American Library Association, Verse Daily, The Lambda Literary Foundation, The Best American Poetry, and Poets and Writers. He was a *FINALIST* for the prestigious Dorset Poetry Prizethe Gloria E. Anzaldúa Poetry Prize, and the Louise Bogan Award for Artistic Merit and Excellence in Poetry

He recently released two new YA/Teen GLBTQ2-S novels, How Do You Deal with a Dead Girl? (Big 23 Press, 2018), and Alpha Wave, The Elusive Spark series, Book 2, (Harmony Ink Press, 2018) to brisk sales. His newest YA/Teen GLBTQ2-S novel, Darkfeather, The Elusive Spark series, Book 3, (Harmony Ink Press, 2019) will be published next year.  About his Teen GLBTQ Sci-Fi Coming-Out novel, A Little Bit LangstonThe Elusive Spark series, Book 1,  Kirkus Reviews raved “This book really … takes its place in the marginalized-will-lead-us genre, as popularized by The Matrix and the X-Men franchises.” His first Young Adult (YA) novel, Ghost Songs, was published March 13, 2014. His first literary novel, If There’s A Heaven Above, was published January 5, 2013 by JMS Books, and was nominated by The American Library Association as an “Outstanding” novel for older Teens (17+). 

Links:
Twitter @andrewdemcak

 

 

 

AUDIO TOUR The Solstice Prince (Realms of Love #1) by SJ Himes and Narrated by Joel Leslie (excerpt and giveaway)

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 Solstice Prince Audio Banner

The Solstice Prince

Realms of Love Book #1

SJ Himes

Gay Epic Fantasy Romance

 Audio Release: 04.30.18

 

Solstice Prince Audio Cover

Cover Illustration and Design by Sarah Jo Chreene

Narrator: Joel Leslie

 

BLURB

Rescued from slavers, healer novice Jaime Buchanan finds himself alone and free in Pyrderi, a kingdom of magic, mythical creatures, and a culture as open and kind as his homeland was cruel and close-minded.

Despite his rescue, Jaime is not left without scars, both mental and physical. Traumatized by his experience and hiding his gift, Jaime struggles to earn his place in the kitchens of Angharad Palace, the heart of Taliesin City. His former life as a student of the healing arts leaves him at a disadvantage in the kitchens, and his damaged state is becoming more apparent by the day.

One day, when necessity and fate intervene, Jaime meets someone unexpected—Prince Maxim, youngest son of the Pyrderian king, a sword master and a devastatingly kind man. Unaccustomed to powerful people with compassion and heart, Jaime flees. A cascade of events reveals Jaime’s hidden talents of healing, and he finds himself not in chains, but at the beginning of a new life.

This swift change of fortune opens Jaime up to new possibilities, including a smitten prince who cautiously courts Jaime, easing him away from his fears and reminding him that compassion and love can make him strong. The winter solstice is quickly approaching, and Prince Maxim shows Jaime the enjoyment and excitement to be found in a land that embraces the ice and cold, and the mysteries of all things magical. He learns to see the man under the royal mantle, and Maxim is more than even Jaime suspected.

The winter solstice is nigh when tragedy strikes, and Jaime learns that his past of grief and sorrow can be a pillar of strength for his solstice prince. If there is one thing that Jaime believes above all else, it is in the healing power of love.

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

TANTOR

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36566371-the-solstice-prince

solstice teaser 1

solstice teaser 2

 EXCERPT

His eyes were drawn to the wide shoulders of Prince Maxim, the royal speaking quietly to a pair of full healers in their silver and white robes, the edges trimmed in varying hues of green that denoted their ranks and specialties. One of them saw Jaime hovering and pointed towards him with a smile. Prince Maxim turned and grinned wide when he saw Jaime. Jaime smiled back, flushing. The prince said his goodbyes and strode across the room to him. Long legs, a trim waist, a broad chest, and strong shoulders clothed in black leather pants and a brilliant white shirt, topped with a long jacket in rich sky blue left Jaime at a loss for words. The prince looked every inch the royal.

Prince Maxim was at his side before he was ready, and Jaime shivered, skin tingling from head to toe when the prince gave him a wide smile and offered his hand. Jaime found his much smaller hand engulfed in the prince’s with his long fingers curling over, holding him firmly. His face burned, and he ducked his head, hair falling over his eyes.

“Good morning, Jaime.”

“Good—good morning, Your Highness,” he stammered back, and he gripped the hand holding his in an unconscious plea for support.

He was holding hands with a prince. His life had taken an unexpected twist.

“Please, call me Maxim,” the prince offered, and Jaime gasped, shaking his head frantically. The prince was smiling at him, somehow beyond patient.

“I wouldn’t dare! I couldn’t, Your Highness,” Jaime burst out, heart racing again. “It’s not allowed.”

Prince Maxim drew closer, their joined hands between them, and he gave Jaime a slow perusal, taking in his wide eyes, flushed cheeks, and no doubt able to see the galloping pulse in his neck. “There is no one to gainsay you for the privilege. I do not mind. Please, it would be an honor for you to use my name.”

“Can I—can I think about it?” He couldn’t believe he just said that, and he nearly bit the tip of his tongue off snapping his mouth shut.

Prince Maxim chuckled and turned them both, tucking Jaime’s hand in the crook of his elbow. “While you’re thinking about it, how about I give you a tour of the castle? Something besides the kitchens and servants’ halls? Would you like to see the library? Do you like to read?”

“Master Eames wanted to talk to me…”

“I’ve been ordered to return you promptly after midday by Master Eames, along with strict instructions not to overdo it.” The prince’s charming grin never fell away, and he seemingly saw nothing amiss in a healer ordering about a royal. Master Eames was a distinguished healer, surely used to getting his own way, and Jaime had no desire to run afoul of the healer’s orders either. Prince Maxim continued, “Now what about some breakfast and then on to the library?”

“I love to read. I would love to see the library.” The idea of the prince taking him to personally see anything was spinning about in his mind, making him feel dizzy, and leaving him glad for the strong hand holding onto his.

SJ Himes Logo

I’m a self-employed writer who stresses out about the silliest things, like whether or not I got my dog the best kind of snack and the fact my kindle battery tends to die when I’m at the best part in a book. I write mainly gay romance, erotica, and urban fantasy, with occasional forays into contemporary and paranormal. I love a book heavy on plot and character evolution, and throw in some magic, and that’s perfection. My current series are: The Beacon Hill Sorcerer, Bred For Love (as Revella Hawthorne), The Wolfkin Saga, and the epic fantasy romance series Realms of Love. My last two novels in the Beacon Hill Sorcerer won 3rd Place in the Gay Fantasy category for the 2016 Rainbow Awards.

I live in New Orleans, where the personalities are big and loud and so are the bugs! New Orleans is rich in cultural history, and the flavor and music of the City is impossible to hide. Before that, I lived all over the United States: Tampa, Western Massachusetts, Indianapolis, and on and on…. I’m a nomad, and I’ve yet to find a place that calls to me strongly enough to become home. My faithful travel companions are my dog Micah, the numerous voices in my head who insist they all get put on paper, and the wind at my back.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SJHimes/

Website: https://www.sjhimes.com/en

Joel Leslie/Narrator

Joel Leslie is a UK transplant, growing up with American parents in a British commonwealth.  A classically trained actor with an MFA in theatre from USC, he is often cast for his unique ability to deliver native, authentic combinations of American and British sounds.  His great range and ability to bring characters to life with honesty, wit and versatility delights producers and listeners alike.

He is proud to have a strong following with m/m listeners and an ongoing relationship with some of the finest writers in the genre.  He loves that every day he gets to share these beautiful, inspirational and empowering GLBT characters with the world.

His authors have praised him as “a narrator among narrators, a man whose ability to create different characters rests on the power of his voice and his impeccable delivery,” and a “true delight…” “his professionalism, good humor, and charm make him a dream to work with,” “Anyone else would only be second best”.

Joel has consistent access to his home studio for all production needs.  When not in the booth he spends his time chasing after two loquacious wiener dogs.

http://www.joelleslienarration.com/

 

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Release Blitz and Giveaway for Swings & Roundabouts (The Power of Zero #4) by Jackie Keswick

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Length: 100,000 words approx.
 
The Power Of Zero Series
 
Book #0 – The Power Of Zero
Book #1 – Job Hunt
Book #2 – Ghosts
Book #3 – House Hunt
 
Blurb
 

Jack Horwood. Vigilante, hacker, security specialist. Partner to Gareth Flynn. Adoptive father to their two teenage boys. Happily juggling long days and short nights.


Gareth Flynn. Ex-army officer. Ace negotiator. Righter of wrongs. Family man. Away from home more often than he likes.


Desperate for a relationship reset, Jack treats Gareth to a romantic getaway and Sweden’s frigid peace gives them the break they both need. But Jack’s a trouble magnet and the next dead body just a wild skidoo ride away.


Can love, teamwork, and trust survive the troubles that follow them around? Can Jack save what’s become so important to him?


Expect action, drama, and hot romance in book 4 of the Power of Zero series.

 
Author Bio
 

Jackie Keswick was born behind the Iron Curtain with itchy feet, a bent for rocks and a recurring dream of stepping off a bus in the middle of nowhere to go home. She’s worked in a hospital and as the only girl with 52 men on an oil rig, spent a winter in Moscow and a summer in Iceland and finally settled in the country of her dreams with her dream team: a husband, a cat, a tandem, a hammer and a laptop.


Jackie loves unexpected reunions and second chances, and men who don’t follow the rules when those rules are stupid. She blogs about English history and food, has a thing for green eyes, and is a great believer in making up soundtracks for everything, including her characters and the cat.


And she still hasn’t found the place where the bus stops.


For questions and comments, not restricted to green eyes, bus stops, or recipes for traditional English food, you can find Jackie Keswick in all the usual places:


Website: http://www.jackiekeswick.com
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/ctY9RD
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JackieKeswick
FB: https://www.facebook.com/JackieKeswick
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jackiekeswick/
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jackie-keswick
Queeromance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/jackie-keswick/

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