A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Escaping Exile (Escape Trilogy #1) by Sara Dobie Bauer

Standard

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Robinson Crusoe meets Dracula in this outstanding paranormal adventure. There are even cannibals as the innocent man who washes ashore on the island, Edmund Baines, is dragged away from danger to his “home” on the nearly deserted island. The problem is, as Edmund discovers when he awakens, that he may have been saved from one danger to be plunged into another.

It’s amazing to me that the author was able to create a world where vampires could be banned to exile for killing one too many innocents, and then she created an unforgettable character in Andrew, who was turned vampire by an Elder in the year 1066. And though he’s starved for human blood, he holds off on killing Edmund, or drinking from him, because there’s something about the fearless young man that piques his interest. Fascinated, intrigued, and finally caring for Edmund, it isn’t until he must drink from the young man to save him from the cannibals who have arrived at Andrew’s house to claim the human-scented new arrival that he finally breaks down and takes what he needs.

But their adventure is hardly over. The head vampire who originally sentenced Andrew to solitude on the island has arrived to mete out a new punishment, or will it be a reward? To find out, simply hit your one-click button. This story doesn’t take long to read, but it’s fascinating, interesting, and all-round fun entertainment for a few hours of your day.

If I had one complaint it would be that the story is short—a little over 20K words—but one would never know it by how much adventure and romance is packed in those words so it’s only a minor concern. Plus there’s a sequel on the horizon. Yay! I highly recommend this to all who enjoy a daring adventure reminiscent of the classics we read (and watched) as children. Add in a touch of MM romance and some smokin’ hot scenes and it’s a sure win.

~~~

The cover by Natasha Snow depicts a moonlit lagoon superimposed by a long-haired man with naked torso. I’m not sure whether the man or the lagoon is more gorgeous but it’s the perfect cover for this story.

Sales Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook
Published August 13th 2018 by NineStar Press
ISBN139781949340433
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Escape Trilogy #1

A Lucy Review: Challenging Chance (Love Letters #3) by Anyta Sunday

Standard

Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

In this third installment of the Love Letters series, I was thoroughly prepared to hate Chance, and not give him a chance, so to speak.  He was so dreadful to Landon in book 2, Begging Ben, that I just couldn’t see a way that he could be redeemed.  I underestimated Ms Sunday because by the end of this book I loved him. 

Chance is a poor little rich boy who is surrounded by hangers-on who just want him to foot the bill for everything, a father who has never been proud of him, a perfect brother who can do no wrong, and people who are willing to sell him out for cash.  He has never been able to come out as bisexual because he knows that will be one more nail on the coffin in his father’s regard.

The book starts with an epic fail on the part of Chance, who brings a completely inappropriate date, Bunny Sparkelz, to his brother’s engagement party.  The unfortunate date is not only highly criticized by Chance’s father but also manages to sink Chance’s Lamborghini into the pool.   Not only that but he finds out that his personal assistant has been paid to spill all the dirt on Chance to his father. Well, then, can only go up from there, right? 

Chance is a basketball player who’s teammates all take advantage of him and use him. He’s really only had one friend in his life, Landon, and he slept with him over the course of a week and then tossed him out,  so that relationship is over. “Landon might have his life together but he didn’t want Chance anywhere near it just in case he messed it up again.  Another relationship he’d screwed up …”   Dad threatens to cut Chance off and insists Chance plan his brother’s rehearsal dinner. 

I was already feeling sympathy for Chance by this time because he really does want to be a better person and he just wants his father to be proud of him but “No matter how closely Chance followed in Danny’s footsteps, he always pissed his dad off rather than amused him.”  Funny enough, Danny is the younger son.  Usually it is the other way around.  Chance is trying and getting nowhere.  “He needed to mature. Not only for the money –he had no skills to afford his lifestyle on his own- but for one look of pride from his dad.” 

Since Chance has fired his PA for spilling to dad, he ends up hiring (sort of against his will) Brook.  Brook has to convince Chance to hire him, mainly because Chance is worried what he will do when faced with a handsome man day in and day out.  Can’t be bi, remember, or dad will be upset.  “Brook reminded him of his ex-friend Landon – and the one week Chance had given in to what his body craved.”

Brook knows something about mistakes and wanting to be a better person.  He’s made his share of them, some big, and he’s trying to make up for them.  He has a secret but he needs this job and he will work hard to make it happen. And he does.  He is so good for Chance, seeing through the “friends” who step all over Chance and he sees the Chance that is inside.  Brook tries to do what is good for Chance.  Chance is a vegetarian and Brook’s first effort at cooking for him ends up a disgusting soupy mash, Chance still realizes it was the effort that the kindest thing.  “It’s been so long since he appreciated how hard others died.  When Landon had been there for him, he’d taken it for granted.  He scooped up the mash and brought it to his lips.”  He’s growing, our boy.

He broke my heart, Chance did, and I was cheering on Brook to help.  “Brook had walked in on Chance in bed, tossing a ball towards the ceiling. Up and down, the telltale sounds of a wheezed sob.”  I admit, I was super ticked at dad, expecting the worst always and in one case, moving out the mansion to a bigger one and only taking Danny with him, leaving Chance to his money and lonely huge house.

Chance does everything he can to not give in to what he feels for Brook.  He keeps him a secret and fights everything he feels. He hurts Brook multiple times.  “Brook’s shoulders dropped as he lurched for the door.  Chance hated that he was disappointing another person in his life.”  But it takes time to grow as a person, to realize that you are worthy of being happy and living your own life.  Chance is working on it and Brook helps. I loved getting to see it.

The ending is sweet and perfect, just what I would have wished for these two.

Cover art by Natasha Snow continues the pattern of the others in the series, a colorful background (this one in shades of orange) with the MC on the front, in this case Chance, looking cocky.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 151 pages
Published July 29th 2018
ASINB07G1612KH
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesLove Letters #3

Admiring Ash
Begging Ben
Challenging Chance

An Alisa Release Day Review: Tempt Me by Remmy Duchene

Standard

Rating:  4.5 stars out of 5

Officer Gabe Ford knows finding love could be a tad problematic—especially since he hasn’t come out to his partner of six years yet. But what’s a guy to do when his body wants what his brain is saying he can’t have?

A year and a half after a breakup, Jason Tomlinson isn’t actively looking for a relationship. Hell, he can do bad all by himself. But Gabe Ford is just too damn yummy to resist. Just as things are beginning to pick up, one bullet may end it all before it even begins.

I loved this story.  Gabe has hidden himself for years and hasn’t been ready to come out to his friends but a little intervention with his best friend and partner, Malik, help him out.  Jason is drawn to Gabe from the beginning and they both allow themselves to explore what is going on between them.

The story was told from both of the characters’ eyes which helped to connect with them.  It was amazing that one Gabe realized Malik didn’t care about him being gay he just went for it and didn’t worry about anyone else.  Jason doesn’t hide either, except after he is shot, but their connection grows even stronger as Gabe helps him recover and they get to know each other more.  The drama with Jason being shot wasn’t all that big but it gave them a reason to be together a little more and an area for them to have a disagreement, which all couples need.

The cover art by Kanaxa is wonderful and I love it.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 85 pages

Published: August 17, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-512-5

Edition Language: English

Charley Descoteaux on Writing, Characters and Art House (Buchanan House #6) (author interview)

Standard

Art House (Buchanan House #6) by Charley Descoteaux

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Release Date:  August 21, 2018
Cover Artist:L.C. Chase

Sales Links:

Dreamspinner Press eBook and   Paperback  

Dreamspinner Press, Buchanan House series page 

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Charley Descoteaux here today talking about writing, characters and the lastest in the Buchanan House series, Art House.  Welcome, Charley.

 

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words Interview with Charley Descoteaux

Hello & thank you for visiting me on my Art House tour! I’m thrilled to be here—thank you for having me!

Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?

Yes and no. From the age of nine I loved sci fi—I watched episodes of Star Trek (the original series) every chance I got, and read anything I could get my hands on that was set in space. As a teenager, though, I read (and re-read) S. E. Hinton. It felt almost impossible to find books with characters who were like me—who didn’t live fancy, exciting lives and always got everything they wanted in the end. It took until I discovered Romance (by “borrowing” my mom’s when I was about 13) before I understood that escaping into a contemporary (or historical) book could be just as satisfying as heading out into space.

How much of yourself goes into a character?

They all get something from me, usually when I’m getting to know them. Once I get past the halfway point in the draft a story begins to take on a life of its own—and so do the characters. When that happens the characters are more like someone who’s had similar life experiences than fictional versions of me. In Art House, I gave the main characters pieces of invisible disabilities I deal with, but they experience depression and anxiety in their own unique ways.

Do you have a favorite among your own stories?  And why?

Right now, Art House is my favorite. I think my favorite among my stories changes based on what stage the story is in—when I’m drafting or releasing a story, that one will be my favorite. If I didn’t have a new release, I’d probably say my favorite was either Torque or Speedbump. Both are under my other pen name, and are more bisexual fiction than Romance, but I think those are the stories I’m most proud of.

If you write contemporary romance, is there such a thing as making a main character too “real”?  Do you think you can bring too many faults into a character that eventually it becomes too flawed to become a love interest?

I hope not! I love complex and conflicted characters—the more flawed the better! Hopefully that doesn’t make it impossible for readers to empathize with my characters. It’s true, many readers are looking for an escape, and not everyone loves angst as much as I do, but I think it’s worse for a character to be “too perfect” than to have so many flaws they might be read as “too real.”

 

Have you ever had an issue in RL and worked it through by writing it out in a story?  Maybe how you thought you’d feel in a situation?

All. The. Time. I didn’t get much in the way of parenting while I was growing up so I learned most of what I know about how to be a good human from books. First I got that information by reading them, and then by writing them. I tend to work through issues in abstract ways, though, and usually don’t recognize the way my characters’ problems intersect with my own until after the book is drafted. Or edited. 😉

 

If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?

At the beach! I love the beach but haven’t been very often in the past five years or so. In February I went on an author retreat, though, and that was ideal. We had an Air BnB right on the coast and those few days were paradise on Earth!

 

What’s next for you as a writer?

This is a hard question, one I’ve been struggling with lately. I’m not sure what I want to write, and since I’ll probably never be able to write full time the joy is the most important thing for me. I’m open to suggestions!

Seriously. Suggest away! Every suggestion is an entry to my giveaway! At the end of the tour every name will go into a hat and the winner will get a signed paperback of Art House, some Buchanan House and Dreamspinner swag, and a surprise or two. This giveaway is worldwide.

 

While you’re thinking about what I should do next, here’s an excerpt from Art House.

Chase woke a half hour later feeling more rested than he had in the past two weeks of nights. And then realized he was alone in the large bed. He didn’t need to open his eyes to know that Garrett wasn’t lying beside him. His throat constricted, and in that moment, he thought he experienced true despair.

He rolled toward Garrett’s side of the bed, the sheet that might still smell like him, depending on how long ago he’d gone, and saw him. Garrett was sitting on the floor beside his easel, curled into a ball, hugging his legs and drawing on the wall near the floor. Beautifully nude. Garrett must have heard the rustle of the bed because his hand stopped.

“Are you tagging the bedroom wall?”

Garrett turned his head and rested his cheek on his knee. His smile warmed Chase to the marrow of his bones. “Sorry.”

“Finish it? I love watching you work.”

Garrett’s smile turned a touch shy and he resumed his work, not quite turning away to do so. Chase meant what he said about watching, but at the moment he couldn’t spare much energy for the actual content of said work. He was happy to lounge on the bed and watch the fine muscles in Garrett’s arm and shoulder, to draw his gaze down his lean torso and the curve of his delectable ass.

“You’re the most talented artist I’ve ever seen.”

“Am not,” Garrett answered quickly, with a smile in his voice. “You’re better.”

Chase sputtered out something that passed for laughter. “What? That’s crazy. I paint the equivalent of hipster advertisements. Corporate art.” Chase waved at the canvases in the corner nearest the door—views of Mt. Hood and Multnomah Falls and the Japanese Gardens in various stages of completion. He’d had more trouble than usual keeping his mind on a single canvas, but it didn’t matter much when the paintings were destined to hang in Puddle Jumper’s dining room to replace the ones purchased by tourists. He did like the two versions of the Portland Oregon sign, though: he’d replaced the words “Portland Oregon” on the iconic sign with the name of a local band on one, and a popular microbrewery on the other. At least they’re different.

“Just because you do that, doesn’t mean that’s all you can do.”

About Art House...

Chase Holland spends his days painting Portland scenes to hang in local businesses, neglecting his own surrealist style. After twenty-five years as a full-time artist, he’s frustrated that his career has stalled, but churning out the equivalent of corporate art is better than getting a day job. Chase and Garrett have been together—off and on, but mostly on—for a decade. If asked, they would both say the source of their trouble is the seventeen-year age gap. The truth is less clear-cut. Life would be so much easier if Chase could make a living with his own art, or if Garrett held less conventional ideas about relationships.

Garrett Frisch has been watching their friends get married for the past two years, and it’s taking an emotional toll. When he proposes as a way to keep them together permanently, he thinks he’s being responsible, but Chase is ambivalent and hurt and can’t hide it. It doesn’t help that Garrett’s anxiety is out of control and he’s dealing with insecurities about his own art career. They will have to do their least favorite thing—talk about something more important than which food cart to visit—if they are to get the happy ending they both want.

About the Author

Charley Descoteaux has always heard voices. She was relieved to learn they were fictional characters, and started writing when they insisted daydreaming just wasn’t good enough. In exchange, they’ve agreed to let her sleep once in a while. Charley grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area during a drought, and found her true home in the soggy Pacific Northwest. She has survived earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods, but couldn’t make it through one day without stories.

Rattle Charley’s cages:

Sean Michael on Writing, HEA, and The Gentle Dom (Iron Eagle Gym #7) (author interview)

Standard

The Gentle Dom (Iron Eagle Gym #7) by Sean Michael

Dreamspinner Press

Cover Art: L.C. Chase

Buy links:

Dreamspinner Press  |  Amazon  |   Barnes and Noble  |  Kobo 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Sean Michael here today on his tour for The Gentle Dom.  Welcome, Sean.
♦︎

 

Thank you to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting me today!

Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?

It both has and hasn’t. I read a ton of sci-fi/fantasy and a ton of romance growing up. In fact romance (Harlequin’s) were my escape, my way to wind down. So it’s interesting that that’s what I write the most. I love sci-fic and fantasy, but they are harder to write for me. I think there’s more pressure in writing that for me, because of all the reading I’ve done.

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?

Just the opposite, in fact. The more the characters are hurting, the faster I write because I have to get them out of that situation.

Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

Absolutely I like them. There’s enough harshness in the world. Romance is an escape. I want people to leave my books feeling happy, positive. I want them to be able to escape, even if only for a short while.

What’s next for you as an author?

There’s always another book. I’ll finish one and go yay! and then charge right into the next one.

Ever drunk written a chapter and then read it the next day and still been happy with it?  Trust me there’s a whole world of us drunk writers dying to know.

I hardly ever drink, and when I do, it’s usually just a single drink, and I don’t think I’ve ever drunk written. I have written super exhausted and it’s hilarious to go back and see the last few paragraphs I wrote – it looks like I was high or drunk, trust me!

If you could imagine the best possible place for you to write, where would that be and why?

On the beach (in the shade).

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

I write because I have to. What I write is as an escape from all the negativity in the world.

Sean Michael

smut fixes everything

About The Gentle Dom…

When one of their own is threatened, the men of the Iron Eagle Gym will stand together and prove they are stronger as a family.

Stuntman Barclay Drambor suspects his fall from a roof was no accident. He believes his abusive ex was responsible, but he can’t prove it. Fortunately, a year has gone by with no word from Duncan, letting Barclay move on with his life—and that means dealing with the aftermath of his injuries. He finds personal trainer Reece “Rec” Gordon through a member of the gym, and it’s not long before their workouts together become much more intimate. Rec is gentle and goes out of his way to make Barclay comfortable, and in no time there’s talk of moving in together….

But just as Barclay is healing and finding a place to belong, Duncan returns to destroy his happiness. Though Duncan will learn he’s messing with the wrong group of men, in the end, Barclay must face him. Will Rec’s love and the friendship of the others at the gym give him the confidence to stand up for himself?

About Sean Michael

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/

Blog Tour for Don’t Let Go by Andrew Grey (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

 

 

Title: Don’t Let Go
Author: Andrew Grey
Genre: M/M Western Romance
Publisher: DreamSpinner Press
Release Date: Aug 7 2018
Edition/Format: 1st Edition/Format ~ eBook & Print
Blurb/Synopsis:
Avery Rivers is a country music sensation, selling records by the millions and playing to sold-out crowds. But behind that persona is Robert, a burned-out musician cracking under the pressure. He’s unable to write any new songs, and he wants out of the business—at least for a while. He changes his appearance and finds honest, hard work in Jackson, Wyoming. Maybe getting to be a regular guy for a while will get him past his block.

Hy Whitely was a championship bull rider until he watched his best friend thrown in the arena and decided the rodeo circuit was no longer the place for him. He wants to be plain old Zeke for a while, and when he returns to his family ranch, he bumps right into Robert—a one-night stand from his last rodeo appearance who is now working there as a ranch hand.

The heat between the men could sear the grass off the range, but each one is hiding a secret. Robert and Zeke, the men behind the public images, fall in love, but can they hold on when Avery and Hy are pulled back into the spotlight?

Continue reading