An Alisa Release Day Review: Somebody to Die For (Requiem Inc. #3) by Kris T. Bethke

Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Dying is easy. New love is terrifying.

Avery Wagner quit ghostwalking when he lost his beloved anchor to cancer. Now teaching others who have the ability, he’s beginning to live again—but he’s not looking for another lover, not now, maybe not ever.

But then he meets Jameson… younger, talented, dedicated, almost perfect, even though his mouth sometimes opens ahead of his brain. And Jameson wants Avery desperately, though he’ll settle for friendship if he can’t have more.

When an emergency demands they work together in the field, Avery discovers just how perfect Jameson is. But he had a perfect love once before, and he’s scared to even consider that he might have a chance at another. Can he trust Jameson with his newly healing heart?

This has been a great series and the author continues to deliver.  We met Avery in the first book when he helped Blake and Derek and we get to see him work through the loss of his bonded a few years before.  Jameson is still in training but looks forward to having a ghostwalker to take care of.

Avery hasn’t ghostwalked in years but he does when there is trouble and it puts Jameson in even closer proximity than their developing friendship has.  Jameson will do anything to take care of Avery and has the understanding he needs.

We get to see Avery and Jameson meet and boy do they get off on the wrong foot but Jameson wonderfully shows Avery he isn’t quite the jerk he came off as.  Avery is so fragile in some ways but finds the strength to go after what he wants and needs.  There are times he seems to jump ahead when he isn’t quite ready yet and I felt it just hurt Jameson when that happened.  Jameson is about the most understanding person alive that it didn’t seem reasonable.  I really liked the story but it seemed Avery and Jameson were on are far ends of the scale for their personalities.  I look forward to more books in this universe and hope that Tyler is the focus of the next book.

The cover art by Aaron Anderson is great and it’s similar in style to the others in the series and also gives a wonderful visual of Avery.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 218 pages

Published: September 4, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-537-8

Edition Language: English

Series: Requiem Inc. #3, Dreamspun Beyond

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Love at First Hate (Porthkennack #11) by J.L. Merrow

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Another visit to Porthkennack on the Cornwall coast in England, this time guided by the inimitable style of JL Merrow, who not only lends British authenticity to the tale, but who has a wonderful, understated sense of humor that creates multiple moments of quiet laughter throughout the story. Number eleven in this series that’s written by various British authors, this is one of three that focus on the Roscarrock family—founding members of the community, complete with the snobbery that goes with the bragging rights.

Bran is the patriarch, a man in his thirties, of diminutive stature, who’s lived in the closet all his adult life. His father drilled responsibility and the ideals of duty to their legacy into him since childhood, and though he is a twin, his sister knew it would be Bran who took over the estate when their father passed on. Now he’s got a reputation the community of being tight-fisted, uncaring, and uninterested in the working man. He’s creating an exhibition—a tribute to Edward of Woodstock, the Black Prince—and he’s doing it to bring attention to the town, but he’s also doing it to pay homage to his hero, and he’s a bit prejudiced in that regard.

Sam Ferreira holds a doctoral degree and has curator experience and is the first person Bran’s brother Jory (One Under) thinks of when Bran is attacked and hospitalized and needs someone to take over the exhibition. Sam jumps at the chance, after assuring that Jory knows about the disgrace he suffered at his university post which resulted in him being fired. He’s doing a great job with the exhibit and is removing that slight prejudice that seems to make the Black Prince look like a hero, when Bran is released from the hospital and finds out what Sam is up to. And then the sparks fly.

A great enemies-to-lovers story, this truly was first hate before the two decided to compromise and get to know one another. After that, the sparks were flying for a different reason, and it looked like Bran might finally decide that the closet is too small to live in. Of course, that’s when he finds out what happened at Sam’s previous job and creates such a ruckus about it that Sam flees both the job and their budding relationship.

JL Merrow wrote the first book in this series, Wake Up Call, and though I know this is not the last, this is certainly one of the best. The whole series is terrific, but these tales of the Roscarrock family have been among my favorites. Now I’m hoping we’ll get one about the illegitimate son of the family, Devon Thompson, the boy that Bran’s twin, Bea, gave birth to and who was turned away, rejected and dejected, when he found out who is mother is. That would be top of my must-buy list. In any event, in a roundabout way, I’m trying to say that I highly recommend this series, and most definitely this story. Yes, it can be read as a standalone but I think that at least reading One Under would make this more meaningful.


The cover art by Garrett Leigh features two men, who resemble the descriptions of Bran and Sam, set against a dark gray stormy background which represents the Cornwall coast setting of the series.

Sales:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 325 pages
Expected publication: September 3rd 2018 by Riptide Publishing
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Porthkennack #11

Connected stories by JL Merrow in this series:

Wake Up Call

One Under

Love at First Hate

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Rubble and the Wreckage (A Gabriel Church Tale #1) by Rodd Clark

Rating: 2 stars out of 5

Christian Maxwell, a writer with a background in psychology, is caught up in the idea of his bestseller and already attracted, repelled, and a little excited by his subject. Gabriel Church, a killer, figures he might as well make money on his story rather than someone else, or that’s what we’re told. They both share a dark sense of humor and some methodical and obsessive traits. Gabe, of course, is thrilled with his own tale, having the attention of Christian, as well as being able to establish some sort of authority over him. Christian has put himself in a precarious legal position since Gabe hasn’t been caught yet. His obsession with news stories of murders lead him to Gabe. While someone with his research abilities and way of seeing patterns might have been a great asset to law enforcement, his loner style, lack of good judgement, and ethical flexiblity really wouldn’t be.

Here are some things that bothered me. We are basically told the author’s view of the characters, an apology (an explanation or defense), to understand how the story turns out the way it does. “We all weave the patterns of our lives by our actions, and possibly by the desires we maintain to be with others similar to ourselves.” While I find the statement profound, I feel like this should have been a preface, or even a postscript and we shouldn’t still be in this phase in chapter two. The POV (point of view), switches around all over the place. That quote is in first person plural. The author then goes back to dual third person, limited (one character’s view of another) and omniscient (a god view type of third person with facts not in evidence, or knowledge only the author would have.) This is a stylistic choice that is not my preference, but it left me feeling detached from either character, which in the case of a serial killer might be a very good thing. There were actually several typos–missing or repeated words–at regular intervals in the version I received. The story is sometimes hard to follow because it teeters between calling the killer Gabe and Church, but usually uses the writers first name. The story is at times contradictory, like how Gabe can’t see or remember a face because the white light is so bright (the man kills because of a victim’s white aura, like it is a calling from God), yet later we are told he remembers every face and will never forget.

As you would expect, the story wanders through different time periods as the killer talks about kills and his childhood based on his own agenda and the questions he is asked. He also amuses himself by drawing Christian in and using his sexuality against him. The way they dance around the issue of sex is very odd, but then everything about their interactions is odd. Gabe says he is heterosexual, while we witness Christian’s epiphany that he is gay, but that didn’t quite work for me. It seemed more like they both need a certain type of circumstance for the act to have any meaning, and this is it. I do not like the idea that meeting Christian can save or heal Gabe. There can be no redemption for this man and, no I don’t care about his crappy childhood. We are privy to his rapid changes in mood and understand he is unstable. We know he has killed at least 40 people.

No one in this book is likeable. There is no one to root for. I’m not even sure why this needed to be fiction. I can find plenty of true crime novels if I want. It is really important that after listening to details of murders all night, and having sex, they are now sightseeing and giving us a history lesson on the surrounding Seattle area? There is also a murder described from the victim’s point of view for no reason I can find. All of the sudden out of nowhere, Christian is being called Boy, feeling submissive, and Gabe calls himself Daddy. Is this a joke? “You look horny, baby. You want a ride on this love rocket”?

I am actually rather speechless. I can’t recommend this. I actually don’t care about what happens to these characters. This also needs editing. I think, at chapter fourteen, I am going to DNF.

I quite liked the cover art by Natasha Snow. It shows Gabriel on a lonely path heading towards the light, reminiscent of how he chooses his victims. The cathedral window overlay shows hints at his broken, chaotic mind and his view that he is on a mission.
Sales Links:  NineStar Press Amazon
Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 2nd edition, 361 pages
Published April 30th 2018 by NineStar Press (first published January 30th 2015)
Original TitleRubble and the Wreckage
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesA Gabriel Church Tale #1

Release Blitz – – Falling Into Love by Nell Iris & Kris T Bethke (excerpt and giveaway)


Length: 34,305 words
Publisher: JMS Books

Liam O’Donoughue is happy with his life. He runs V Wilderness Adventures with his best friends, his chosen brothers, and gets to spend his days hiking in the gorgeous Adirondacks. What’s not to love? But when he meets Austin on a hike, he thinks he’s found something he didn’t even know was missing.

Austin Jock is content with his work as a radiology tech and playing bass in a cover band. Someday he wants to find his forever person but doesn’t believe in romantic fireworks and isn’t sure it’ll ever happen. Then Liam comes crashing into his life, igniting sparks. Huge, life-altering sparks.

The connection between the two men is instant, and things move fast. But Austin isn’t sure what to do with everything he’s feeling inside. Can Liam convince him falling in love is the easiest thing in the world?


As Austin relaxed, he smiled more, and his body lost that tight posture. He leaned against me a little as the evening wore on, and when he started to shiver, I put my arm around him. The soft sigh he gave was one of the sweetest sounds I’d ever heard. I wanted to push him down onto the ground and devour him, taste and touch every inch of his delectable skin. But it was much too soon for that, and I definitely didn’t want to do it with an audience.

Eventually, he pulled out his phone, woke it up, and sighed. He turned into me so his entire side was pressed against my chest and tilted his head back, so he could look into my eyes.

“I have to go. I’ve got an early-ish shift tomorrow.”

Acute disappointment flooded my veins. But I nodded.

“Let me walk you to your car,” I murmured.

He nodded and stood. It took a little bit to say goodbye. I appreciated the enthusiasm Everett gushed over him, and I was pleased to see Drew give him a warm handshake. Finally, we moved out of the ring of firelight and ambled toward his car. Neither one of us seemed in a hurry for things to end.

“So, uh.” Austin cleared his throat, and then whispered so softly it was barely audible. “Poop.”

I laughed quietly, and reached out, tilting his face up. “Thanks for coming. I really wanted to see you.”

Austin sucked in a breath and held it, then let it out in a rush of words, “Was this a date?”

It took me a second to understand, because he’d spoken so fast I almost couldn’t make out what he said. But when I did, my grin was so wide my face hurt.

“Well, I certainly thought it was. I definitely wanted it to be. What’s your verdict?”

He gave a shaky laugh. “Me, too.”

“Good.” I cautiously took a step closer, wanting to be in his space, and he let me. He even lifted a hand and placed it on my waist. I cursed the layers between us. I wanted to feel his touch on my skin.

“Do you maybe want to do it again? Uh, go on a date, I mean?”

“No maybe about it. I definitely want to do it again.”

Austin nodded, opened his mouth, and then shut it again. He shook his head, mouthed a word I couldn’t make out in the dimness, and then said, “Can I cook for you?”

“I would love that,” I said fervently.

“Oh. Good.” Austin’s smile bloomed on his face, and for a long minute, I was captivated by his full, kissable mouth. I almost didn’t hear what he said next. “I have Tuesday off. Want to come over?”

“Just tell me what time.”

Austin laughed, and I swore it sounded like music. “I’ll text you as soon as I figure out what to make. You don’t have any allergies, do you?”

“Not to food.”

“Good. Then. Tuesday?”


Austin sucked in another breath, kissed my cheek again with one of those fleeting, butterfly kisses, and then scrambled to get in his car. I couldn’t keep the grin off my face as I waved him on and stood there until his car disappeared around the bend in the drive.

Nell Iris is a romantic at heart who believes everyone deserves a happy ending. She’s a bona fide bookworm (learned to read long before she started school), wouldn’t dream of going anywhere without something to read (not even the ladies’ room), loves music (and singing along but, let’s face it, she’s no Celine Dion), and is a real Star Trek nerd (“Make it so”). She loves words, poetry, wine, and Sudoku, and absolutely adores elephants!

Nell believes passionately in equality for all regardless of race, gender, or sexuality, and wants to make the world a better, less hateful, place.

Nell is a forty-something bisexual Swedish woman, married to the love of her life, and a proud mama of a grown daughter. She left the Scandinavian cold and darkness for warmer and sunnier Malaysia a few years ago, and now spends her days writing, surfing the Internet, enjoying the heat, and eating good food. One day she decided to chase her lifelong dream of being a writer, sat down in front of her laptop, and wrote a story about two men falling in love.

Nell Iris writes gay romance, prefers sweet over angst, and wants to write diverse and different characters.

Twitter @nellirisauthor
Facebook page
Facebook profile
QueeRomance Ink

Kris T. Bethke has been a voracious reader for pretty much her entire life and has been writing stories for nearly as long. An avid and prolific daydreamer, she always has a story in her head. She spends most of her free time reading, writing, or knitting/crocheting her latest project. Her biggest desire is to find a way to accomplish all three tasks at one time. A classic muscle car will always turn her head, and naps on the weekend are one of her greatest guilty pleasures. She lives in a converted attic with a way too fluffy cat and the voices in her head. She’ll tell you she thinks that’s a pretty good deal. Kris believes that love is love, no matter the gender of people involved, and that all love deserves to be celebrated.

Find her on her site Facebook or on Twitter 


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John R. Petrie on Writing and his new release The Quarterback’s Crush (author interview)

The Quarterback’s Crush by John R. Petrie

Harmony Ink Press
Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas

The Quarterback’s Crush is now available at

Amazon (Kindle/Paper format) |  Dreamspinner Press  |  Harmony Ink Press  |  Barnes & Noble: 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host John R. Petrie on tour for his new release The Quarterback’s Crush.  Welcome, John, into our author’s interview chair!

~ Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interview with John R. Petrie ~

  • How much of yourself goes into a character?

I tend to write characters who aren’t like me, so much as who I’d like to be.

What I love about the character of Dylan in The Quarterback’s Crush out from Harmony Ink on September 4th, 2018, is that he’s sweet and kind, but he lets his mind and mouth run away with what he knows he shouldn’t really say. He seems like he’s got a lot of fears, but he’s actually kind of fearless in many ways and I admire that.

  • 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?

I think there’s a line between writing characters who are wish fulfillment and writing characters who are perfect and accomplished. The line to me is more about writing a character as opposed to writing a plot device.

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

I love doing research and thank goodness for Google and podcasts where I can learn about things, listen to interviews (especially important to hear how people talk, their syntax, and their vocabulary), and find out much more about smaller things that the characters are interested in that I know nothing about. I really needed to hear jocks talk so I can understand their cadence.

That being said, what I write about tends to be in the ‘real world’ so I haven’t had much of a chance to build my own world the way that science fiction and fantasy writers do. I admire them so much for creating an entire world or worlds to enjoy.

  • Do you like HFN or HEA? And why?

For me personally? I’m single, so I’d love a HEA, but I’ll settle for a HFN. Call me. I like tall guys, but I’m not fussy.

  • Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  Now and growing up?

Some of my favorite prose authors are Jane Austen, Michael Cunningham, Andre Aciman, and TJ Klune. They’re all so amazing.

I’m also really, really influenced by plays and screenwriters and how the dialogue on screen and stage is so pithy and effective. From that angle, I’m hugely influenced by Amy Sherman-Palladino (Gilmore Girls) and Rob Thomas (Veronica Mars).

From my geek side some of my favorite comic book writers are Greg Rucka, Gail Simone, Jen Van Meter, and Kurt Busiek.

  • How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?

I have to quantify this answer first. Almost every job I’ve ever had has been around books. Libraries, book stores, and a publisher. The last time I moved, I had two boxes of clothes and twenty-two boxes of books. I love books. Love them!

That being said, a well written sentence is a well written sentence, whether it’s something that’s read on a computer screen, tablet, e-reader, or page. E-readers are wonderful for people with bad eyesight, people who don’t want to, or can’t, carry around big hardcovers.

Books will never go away, and they shouldn’t. E-readers, however, do give a lot of eyes to first time and beginning writers, which is always a wonderful thing.

  • How do you choose your covers?  (curious on my part)

The wonderful people at Harmony Ink Press paired me with the wonderful Adrian Nicholas, who took my ramblings about cover design and turned it into the cover. We went back and forth on a few things and Adrian couldn’t have been kinder!

  • What’s next for you as an author?

I’m working on a series of LGBT YA mysteries taking place in the Southern U.S. as well as an adult Gay romance in the world of a professional sport. (I don’t want to spoil anything on that one yet.) Plus I have a couple of cork boards filled with other ideas and characters. Now if only I could take a few months off of work… 

  • What traits do you find the most interesting in someone? Do you write them into your characters?

I love characters who are unapologetically who they are. I love reading characters who aren’t passive in their journey. While there are characters who start their journeys because of external forces, I try really hard to write characters who are active in their own progression.

  •  What’s  the wildest scene you’ve imagined and did it make it into a story?

 Hmmm, I wrote a very adult story for an online website and it had some pretty wild sex scenes from my dirty imagination. For The Quarterback’s Crush, nothing too wild comes to mind. I really wanted the romance between Dylan and Timothy to lead up to the first kiss.

  • 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 think of it as the people in my head getting really tired of me being the only one who hears them. Seriously, though, I try to write so I can have a creative outlet that I don’t get in my every day life. For me, reading and writing are my attempts to find the universality of human experiences. If the book is horror or comedy or romance, the experiences we have about going through our lives will always ring through, no matter the genre.


Dylan Porter needs a Hail Mary….

Because it’ll take a miracle for him to pass English and trig so he can stay on the football team, get a scholarship, and go away to college—where the distance from his friends and family will give him the confidence to finally tell them he’s gay. But flunking his classes will put a stop to all of his dreams.

Luckily there’s Tommy Peterson to help him. In Dylan’s eyes, Tommy’s perfect. Short, smart, and sexy, he checks every one of Dylan’s boxes, so it’s no surprise when Dylan falls head over heels. Too bad Tommy doesn’t seem to feel the same, and a pining Dylan accidentally outs himself to the team. Now Dylan has to deal with the fallout of his coming out to the team, his dad, and his coach while trying to score the ultimate touchdown—the love of Tommy Peterson.


About the Author

John R. Petrie grew up in Boston and now lives in the Bronx, NY. Almost his entire working career has been spent around books, from his first job in the town library to more than twenty years bookselling in one of the biggest bookstores in the US. He’s also worked for the Housing Works thrift stores in NYC, which provides services for the homeless and HIV communities, as well as a comic book publisher.

He’s had stories published in True Romance magazine, had a play he wrote produced at his college, acted, danced, and was nominated for an acting award playing Belize in Angels in America.

He stays up too late, eats too much junk food, and has been reading Wonder Woman comics for over forty years.

He is very, very happy to have his debut novel published by Harmony Ink Press. He hopes to continue writing stories which make people smile.

 He can be reached at and looks forward to hearing from readers and writers.

My email is

My twitter handle is @johnpetriewrite

(I don’t do Facebook because I’m too afraid I’ll have to contact people from High School again.)

Release Blitz and Giveaway – In This Iron Ground by Marina Vivancus


Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Cover Design: Natasha Snow
Length: 85,000 words approx.

Damien is nine years old when his parents die. What should have been the worst moment of his life begins a journey shadowed by loneliness and pain. The night of a full moon, four years and seven foster homes later, Damien flees to the forest, desperate to escape everything.

Instead, he finds the Salgado pack, and the earth beneath his feet shifts. Damien has seen the Salgado children in his school: Koko, who is in his class, and Hakan, two years older and infinitely unreachable. Damien is suddenly introduced into a world that had only ever existed in his imagination, where there is magic in the forest and the moon. He meets creatures that look like monsters, but Damien knows that monsters have the same face as anybody else.

Over the years, Damien and Hakan grow closer. First, just as friends and foster brothers in the Salgado house, and then into something heated and breathless when Damien joins Hakan at college. Despite what he may yearn for in the darkest part of the night, Damien knows, deep down in that bruised and mealy part of his core, that he’s not good enough to be part of the Salgado family, their pack. He’s not worthy of calling Hakan his home.

Even though he knows in the end it’ll hurt him, he’ll hold onto this for as long as he can.

CONTENT WARNING: This book contains themes of emotional and (nonsexual) physical child abuse and the subsequent emotional, cognitive, and behavioural impacts.

Author Bio
When Marina was a child she couldn’t sleep. Night after dissolving night she just couldn’t sleep. Nothing much worked – until she started making up stories in her head. Suddenly, the transition into unconsciousness was a smooth dive into calm waters.

Marina is currently in a period of sleepless upheaval, and she hopes writing down the stories in her head will cast the same spell it did decades ago.

Marina hopes to write in a variety of romance sub-genres, from contemporary to supernatural to sci-fi. Her style, however, tends to focus on character-centred stories that explore different facets of the human experience, such as mental health. She also enjoys writing explicit, drawn-out sex scenes, so expect those to be a prominent feature of her stories.

Marina tends to keep to herself unless prompted, so don’t be shy in approaching her! 

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